Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

November 4, 2012

Take advantage of your right to vote Tuesday

Back in May we looked at the election results and we were puzzled. Just 18.9 percent of the county’s registered voters took time to select candidates for this coming Tuesday’s general election. Now, with just two days to go, we want to urge registered voters to do better.

Many of the local primary races were hotly contested and we thought that the passion of those races would have drawn out more voters. They didn’t. Now, at the end of this year’s passionate races for president, the 2nd District U.S. House seat and the U.S. Senate seat, we think voters need to show up at the polls en masse to settle these races.

If just 20 percent or less of Elkhart County voters help decide who will be in these offices for years to come, then the rest of the registered voters will have let their community down.

A healthy turnout in an election goes a long way in settling divisive political issues. Even if a politician wins by a narrow margin, when there is a large turnout, that turnout reflects what most registered voters thought about the issues in play.

And, never before in American history has voting been easier to accomplish. Absentee balloting in Elkhart County has been going on for weeks and many people took advantage of that to stop by the County Administration Building to complete their ballot early. On Election Day, registered voters simply have to show up at their polling place with a valid ID to obtain a ballot. And the polling day is long, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tomorrow, it’s probable that most Elkhart County residents will receive yet another pile of campaign brochures in their mailboxes. Some residents will also receive calls from political action committees, unions and candidates urging them to get out and vote for their favorite candidate.

Here at the end of a long, long political season, the urge is to turn away and tune out politicians trolling for votes. But, that is the wrong attitude. Voting is the only way we have to control our political future and ignoring that responsibility will only make matters worse in the months to come.

So, we urge Elkhart County residents to take time to ponder who they like in the local, state and national races.

You can refer to the many articles we and other media outlets have published or broadcast for help. Then, take part in the freedoms America has to offer and go vote!

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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