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  • Last modified 2304 days ago (July 25, 2012)

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One Woman’s View

Be a smart voter

Contributing writer

This being an election year, I cannot resist offering some advice about voting. I will not tell you who to vote for; the good Lord gave you a brain to figure that out for yourself. I do want to make some suggestions you might think about before you get to a voting booth.

First, choose a candidate who does his own thinking. I believe our legislature is the poorer for the departure of Bob Brookens.

Although he and I are in opposite political parties, and his opinions are sometimes more conservative than mine, I respect him greatly.

He considered the welfare of his constituents and voted for what he believed was in their best interests.

Nobody could tell him how to vote. Even the knowledge that his party would make every effort to defeat him in the next primary never brought him “in line.” I hope we find another independent thinker to replace him.

Second, do not be a one-issue voter.

I know some people will disagree on this point. I am ardently pro-life. However, to the dismay of some of my pro-life friends, I have often voted for candidates who were not.

Although I care deeply for unborn babies, I also care about people after they are born. It is often impossible to find candidates who do both.

Most of us do have issues that are so important to us that we are tempted to focus on one tree and ignore the forest. However, I do not think that is the way to elect the best people.

In the 1992 election, I did vote pro-life straight down the ticket, and I do not think I accomplished anything good by doing so.

Third, I believe that while it may be wise to be guided somewhat by party in voting for officials on a national level, when it comes to local offices, we can usually know the people and what kind of job they are doing or can do.

The two major parties do have differing philosophies, although perhaps not as much as they used to.

You know which philosophy appeals to you, but you need to be alert for anomalies that justify splitting your ticket.

I can remember an occasion many years ago when a demagogue from Wichita switched his party registration because he knew he could not defeat the incumbent in the primary. Although he ran on the Democratic ticket, he was no more a Democrat than Attila the Hun. I voted for the Republican incumbent.

For offices in the courthouse, we can usually know the candidates well enough to judge their character, regardless of party.

Whether you agree or disagree with my conclusions, make sure you are registered to vote and go to the polls for next month’s primary and November’s general election.

Do not forget that you need a photo ID to register or to vote if you are already registered.

I know it is a cliché, but if you fail to go to the polls and vote, you forfeit your right to complain about our government.

Last modified July 25, 2012

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