On Nov. 4 many of us will head out to the polls. If television pundits and the stances they take can be believed, more of us will head to the polls this year than any other time in recent history.
    For some, the trip to the polls will be spurred on by the historic nature of this year’s election. For the first time in our history, we may elect a bi-racial President or a female Vice-President. My, how the times have changed! It is the excitement about these historic firsts that may drive many to the polls.
    {mosimage}Others may head to the polls because of the state of the nation’s economy. They believe that the leaders we elect on Nov. 4 may be able to make a difference in their lifestyles. Or, even if they don’t believe they’ll be able to make a difference, they have hope they will.
    For many other people, the trip to the polls is not something new and is not out of the ordinary. I count myself in that number. I have voted religiously since I was old enough to exercise that civic responsibility. It’s one I take very seriously. I refuse to go to the polls uneducated, so I take the time to find out about the people who are running and the stances they take. For me, that’s part and parcel of that civic responsibility. To go to the polls uninformed is quite frankly, a crime.
    For the past 12 years Up & Coming Weekly has worked hard to ensure that our readers do not commit that crime. This year is no different. Inside you will find our Voter’s Guide. Here’s the nuts and bolts of it. We sent out a set of questions to the candidates on our local ballot. The answers you find inside these pages come from those candidates who took the time to make sure that voters knew where they stood.
    You’ll find many sections where candidates failed to respond. It’s not because they didn’t have the chance. Our questionnaires were sent out by certified mail. Believe it or not, we had candidates call who didn’t want to make a trip to the post office to pick it up — they wanted to know if it was important enough to go. A number of candidates didn’t find it that important.
    Here’s my take on that, if giving me information that will help me make an informed decision is not important to a candidate, then they probably aren’t important enough for me to vote for. You decide what you think about that matter.
    We have printed their answers verbatim. Nothing has been changed. We did not want to worry about changing the context or meaning of what they wrote — so we didn’t change anything at all.
    We hope you will take the time to read through this guide, and then use it to make informed, intelligent decisions on election day. It’s  your future.
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