EDITORIAL: Informing uninformed voters

By Staff Writer
October 14, 2004

There is nothing worse than going to the polls and being totally uninformed about the candidates and the issues. Although it is great to have the enthusiasm to vote in the presidential election, it does nothing but hurt the process to go into the booths clueless.

In most cases, the election is taken as if it were a test. In reality a voter has four years to decide if the country is moving in the direction they believe is right. The truth of the matter is most voters wait till there is less than 6 months until the election to begin looking at the candidates.

Unfortunately, voters can’t go back and study so what is left to do is cram like they’ve never crammed before. If most voters resort to complying all the information at the second, to where should they go?

What sources should these voters turn to in order to help them form an idea of the right candidate for himself or herself? There are many influences on a potential voter’s presidential decision: family, friends, religion and media that all shape a voter’s stances on issues. Although they all play a significant role in our growth, each must be carefully examined for its accuracy of the facts.

The question remains, however can the voter sift through all these different views on issues to decide what is right for them? As a voter, the last thing the country needs is an ignorant person choosing the next president. The object of a voter is to figure out for themselves the best direction for this country and its citizens.

It is possible to formulate an opinion without help but realistically how often do we rely on our past upbringings and social pressures to vote one way or another? It’s easy to just check off a Republican or Democratic option on the voting ballots. However, the advantage to learning the issues is becoming a more insightful voter.

Two helpful web sources are vote-smart.org and factcheck.org for gathering facts and making sense out of the distorted truth that comes from each candidate’s mouth. Vote-smart.org gives background on tons of issues while factcheck.org, is a site, run by The University of Pennsylvania that sorts out the truth from the fibs told by the candidates. When investigating the truth always question the source even if it appears reliable.

If you’re a person who gets confused about all the issues, take the time and decide for yourself what is fundamentally the most important topic of debate. By focusing strongly on a certain subject, your mind will be free to openly judge the candidates on other issues.

Most of the time undecided voters find themselves sharing similarities with both sides. What a voter should do is give him or her time to choose the most significant issue in their heart and from here make a choice on the election.

In the end the greatest way to learn the issues is to begin open discussions with your friends and family. When it comes to the media, read and watch as much as you can and try making sense out of all the facts.

The best advice the Loquitur can provide to uninformed voters is to take all new information as a grain of salt. No matter where the information comes from, as a voter it is their responsibility to gather every perspective on an issue and decide for them what they feel is the right view.

Just keep yourself informed on the issues around you and seek the truth through the best possible means, research. In the end, pulling an all-nighter for that big test really doesn’t help you so why do you think it will for the election?

From CAP Board:

The Campus Activities and Programming Board’s annual tradition of the haunted trail which was supposed to be held on Oct. 29 and 30 is now canceled. CAP Board as a whole is disappointed that we had to cancel the trail, but problems beyond the control of the Board and safety concerns of the workers and guests of the trails what forced our Board to make an unfortunate decision.

Last year’s trail put many of the workers and guests in jeopardy when firecrackers were thrown into the trail while the workers were preparing for another group to come through. The trail was canceled for the second day because of this disrespectful act.

We apologize to community members and students who look forward to the trail each year. President of CAP Board, Michael Sofia, says, “it saddens CAP Board as much as all of you to have to cancel the trail, but we hope that you trust that we are continuing to investigate alternatives to make it a better and safer program for the workers involved and the guests who walk through it.”

Because CAP Board understands the importance of traditions in our school, we will continue to offer different alternatives, because of the trail’s cancellations. CAP board has investigated many different haunted hayrides, houses and other haunted trail like activities. If you are interested in any of these, please contact CAP Board office. Again, we apologize for this and hope that you still come out to our other quality events.

Posted to the Web by Lori Iannella

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