Cottrel: Educate yourself on the ballot, then vote

Clark County residents wait in line outside Clark State's Turner Studio Theater to vote early Tuesday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Caption
Clark County residents wait in line outside Clark State's Turner Studio Theater to vote early Tuesday, Oct. 6, the first day of early voting in Ohio. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Every four years we focus on that one big race and one big question. Who will win the Presidential election?

We watch debates, read statements, listen to campaign speeches, and make a decision on who will get our vote.

Problem is that some voters know all about those names at the top of the ballot but not the rest of the names and issues.

It is a terrible shame when voters don’t know about local races. These local races and issues affect us directly. And they can be decided by only one vote. It is very important that each of us know what is going on and who these people are.

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Do your research before voting. Discuss the candidates with your neighbors and friends. It is imperative that we all do our homework on other races or issues being determined in just a few weeks.

The Clark County Board of Election has a website that can answer almost all your questions https://www.boe.ohio.gov/clark/ Sample ballots are available for viewing. There is also valuable information about voting precinct locations, and early voting.

The News Sun has already had helpful articles about early voting, voting by mail, and the candidates. Our website is www.springfieldnewssun.com.

Of course the mail will also be delivering all sorts of campaign literature to you. And the campaign signs are popping up like dandelions in your neighbors' yards and street corners.

The actual ballot you get is determined by where you live or more accurately your precinct. Voters in Enon will have some items that are different from voters in Park Layne or Pike Twp.

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You cousin in another township may have to consider a school issue but not a police levy, while you have the opposite.

If you are voting in person, don’t forget your mask. Wear comfortable shoes, and be prepared if there is a bit of a wait. Be mindful of social distancing and be aware of posting of directions and rules. And please be patient.

Listen carefully to instructions of the poll workers.

When you get your ballot in hand, be sure to fill in the little oval spaces as directed. “Darken the oval” is how the directions say it. You need to make sure that the computer can detect your vote.

Ballot counting has been confused by voters who did not follow the “darken the oval” instructions. Be bold and let the computer know your vote.

Don’t forget to look at both sides of the ballot. During a busy election season there will be candidates and issues on the back side of the ballot also.

Most important thing is to vote. Just vote.

Like Dr. Seuss would probably say, Vote here, there, or anywhere. Vote at home or at a polling place. Stand up and be counted. A big turnout means that a large percentage of the citizens in an area have made their preferences known. And that is good.

And if your polling location has them, get the sticker. I love getting that “I Voted Today” sticker and wear it proudly.

It reminds me that hundreds of thousands of Americans have fought for my right to vote. It also reminds me that thousands of poll workers and election officials have worked hard to make this process go smoothly. And I wear it to thank them.

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