Editorial: Time to get informed on the candidates

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 17, 2002

With so many local elections on the ballot Nov. 5, it may be hard for people to get a good sense of which candidates are right for them in every race. That’s why forums, like those planned by the League of Women Voters tonight and next Thursday, are so helpful and important.

Each forum will feature candidates for a list of local offices, from the blockbuster races like mayor of Albert Lea and Freeborn County sheriff, to the lesser-publicized contests for positions like Freeborn County auditor/treasurer and Albert Lea school board.

Of course, the more politicized races for state house and senate will also be on the slate. It’s a good chance for people to learn more about candidates. Reading about them or hearing about them is one thing, but there’s really no substitute for seeing a person speak live and even have the chance to ask them a question.There will be other opportunities before the election to learn about the candidates, and it’s the responsibility of voters to be informed about their choices.

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Lest we take our voting rights for granted, it’s interesting to look at the recent &uot;election&uot; in Iraq, where Saddam Hussein &045; surprise &045; got 100 percent of the vote. When you realize how lucky we are to have a right to a real vote, unlike the people in Iraq, it adds perspective. We only get one chance every two or four years to elect these leaders, and it’s important that we make informed choices each time, or our right to vote can be wasted.

The first League of Women Voters’ first forum is tonight at 7 p.m. at Riverland Community College, and the second is Thursday, Oct. 24 at the same time at the same place.