Sunday, December 10, 2023

EDITORIAL: Yes, vote — but be an informed voter

| October 20, 2023 1:00 AM

Voting isn’t enough.

In itself, voting doesn’t fulfill Americans’ sacred civic responsibility. Unless the voter is informed, the ballot cast could very well be a dart headed toward a community’s heart. Some people seek office for all the wrong reasons, and it’s up to every citizen to do their homework so they can choose wisely.

In partisan elections, some voters, regretfully, rely only on party affiliation designations for their choices. These voters might be able to tell you almost nothing about the candidates — only that they belong to the “right” team.

Well, the Nov. 7 ballot contains no Rs, Ds or other party affiliations because it’s a nonpartisan, local election. Yet that hasn’t dissuaded the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee from promoting its political pals, which muddies the waters that nonpartisan elections intend to keep clean.

Here’s some good news. The Press will soon provide subscribers with a comprehensive, unbiased Voters Guide for the Nov. 7 election. While it’s not your only election resource, it might be your best.

The Voters Guide includes important biographical information on Kootenai County candidates who also answer some of the questions most voters want to know about those who wish to represent them. While each entry might simply be scratching the surface of what that candidate has done in their life, what they think and how they intend to lead as an elected official, that resource alone may shine enough light for conscientious voters to make their choices.

There are other information options, too. The Kootenai County chapter of League of Women Voters offers a digital voters guide at Go to that site, type in your address and follow the prompts. You’ll see responses to key questions from many candidates whose names and races will appear on your ballot. You might also note those who chose not to share their information with you.

Another excellent opportunity for you to do your homework is to watch the virtual Town Halls conducted recently by The Press and the Joint Chamber Public Policy Committee, with Tyrel Stevenson and Helo Hancock serving as moderators. Candidates for mayor in our communities, city councils and school board positions participated. Go to and click Meet the Candidates at the top of the page, then watch the town halls that matter to you.

Here’s to a pleasant, enlightening adventure in learning more about the local people who hope to earn your vote on Nov. 7.

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