Rupert Howell column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Take time to investigate issues before you vote

In another section of this paper you will find a voting guide that includes statements, questions and advertisements  from many of the county-wide, and multi-county district offices.

Space and time would  not allow us to include all supervisor candidates (a special section published in July before the primary elections included supervisor candidates Q and A’s). However, many candidates chose to run ads justifying their candidacy and reaching out to potential voters.

This general election in Panola County is like no other in that 11 local seats will be determined in the Tuesday, November 8 election. Not many election cycles ago, virtually all local positions were decided during the August Democratic primary election.

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Also on this ballot are three initiatives for which voters will be asked to indicate their approval or disapproval.

Topics of those initiatives include eminent domain, the beginning of life and voter identification.

And while there is always much to say about candidates and issues for which we the voters will soon give a thumbs up or down, it is necessary to cut through the rhetoric, smoke and haze to get to the heart of the candidate and the truth of the initiatives.

All candidates are human and currently easily accessible. The initiatives are printed in today’s special section for those who would like to read them before they go and vote.

Citizens have the opportunity that comes around only every four years—to stamp approval upon those in public office who they believe are doing a good job or to offer a collective veto if a majority of those who bother to participate don’t approve.

In all cases on this ballot, the leading vote-getter wins the election—a majority is not required; there will be no local runoff elections.

It is the hope of this newspaper staff that each voter will put time and thought into each candidate and issue and make this election memorable for all the correct reasons.