The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


August 4, 2012

Our View: ‘Like’ your way to the polls

Today, hundreds of thousands of people will hit the “like” button on cute kittens, cute puppies and cute babies.

They will take pictures of their lunch and share it with others. They will send out tweets about the #Royals or the #Cardinals. Keyboard and smartphone strokes will decide online voting contests, fuel the fire for political and personal platforms and endorse any number of causes.

Yet, getting voters to take 30 minutes out of their day to “like” an issue or a candidate is becoming more and more difficult. Elections are being decided by a handful, rather than by the masses.

It’s a sad commentary when we start losing sight of the truly important things in life — such as how our county and state tax dollars are put to use.

The Tuesday primary election will decide a number of key races. In Jasper and Newton counties, almost all of the races are on the Republican primary ballot. The exception is in Jasper County, where the winner of the three-way GOP race for sheriff will face a candidate on the Libertarian ballot in November.

There also are contests — all Republican — for some state representative and senate posts from the region. Voters also will be choosing party nominees who will square off in November in contests for U.S. Senate, Congress, Missouri governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer. Kansas voters will be deciding county races for sheriff, county commission, county attorney, county clerk, county treasurer and registrar of deeds, plus races for state Senate and House Representatives, along with U.S. Congress.

If you don’t take the opportunity to vote on Tuesday, then essentially you have lost your voice in saying who the decision-makers should be.

Marking a ballot isn’t as convenient or as quick as some of the other decisions we make in this technological age. Perhaps someday, it will be.

Until then, we urge you to make your opinion count at the polls.

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