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Be informed and think when you vote

Registered voters in Lincolnton will have the opportunity to go to the polls on Tuesday and will have the opportunity to decide whether the Democratic Party or the Republican Party has fielded a team of candidates that will take the city in the direction desired by the people.

We urge eligible voters, regardless of their political persuasion, to participate in what is certain to be an important election for the long-term of Lincolnton, as well as all of Lincoln County, which is directly affected by the area’s only incorporated municipality.

That is, we urge voters to participate if they’ve been paying attention and are making an informed decision.

To assist voters in becoming better informed about the candidates and the issues, the Lincoln Times-News has been diligent in publishing news about these city races. On Oct. 19, we reported at length on the preceding evening’s candidates forum, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. We also posted a live blog of this event to our website.

On Nov. 2, we published the results of an issues survey the Times-News distributed to the candidates. To their credit, every candidate cooperated, offering thoughtful answers to each question. As far as we can tell, no one ran away from their positions, but instead fully and consistently articulated their visions for the city, how it should spend your tax dollars and how it should provide services and address concerns. We have six candidates for three offices. We have six different visions. The three candidates from each party are closely aligned on most issues, but each remains an individual.

It’s not too late for voters to go back over these recent editions of the newspaper or visit our archives at www.lincolntimesnews.com to examine what the candidates have said, either reading their comments for the first time or reviewing them before making a final decision on each race.

We urge voters to think carefully about the issues, about what the candidates have said and about who will provide competent leadership. We urge voters to look at the Ward II race and decide whether Dr. John “Les” Cloninger or Sam Ausband Jr. is the best choice, then repeat this same question for Larry Mac Hovis and Tim Shain in Ward IV and John Gilleland Jr. and Pam Huskey for mayor.

North Carolina, unlike 70 percent of the states, still uses an archaic system of ballot designed in the days of single-party domination of the state. This ballot allows the voter to cast a single vote for an entire party slate. We urge voters not to give in to laziness by marking this part of the ballot. Cast your vote, not for D or for R, but for a flesh-and-blood human being who has all the faults of a human being, but who will be your representative in city government in a way that an impersonal entity like a political party never will.

By all means, vote on Tuesday. But do it with great preparation and deliberation.


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