November 1, 2006 Edition

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Vote your conscience

As Election Day draws near, voters are inundated with messages about candidates and current issues.

As technology has developed, political messages are being delivered in new and varied formats. It is not unusual to get an e-mail, a telephone message or a direct mail post card requesting a vote for or against an issue or a candidate. In addition, there are a bevy of advertisements on television, radio and in newspapers.

Besides requests from individual candidates, there are also appeals from special interest groups, not to mention political parties, seeking to get a specific vote from the people.

One would think that having all these information sources would make it easier to decide how to vote on Election Day, but in reality the messages are often confusing and sometimes misleading.

When it comes down to actually marking the ballot, individuals should rely on two messages alone. The first should be what their mind is telling them is the best choice based on all the information they have gathered, and the second is what their heart is reporting based on how the vote might help or harm others.

In truth, there is no way to know for sure if campaign promises will be kept or if a change in the law will be more beneficial or harmful. All voters can do is listen to their mind and to their heart, vote their conscience and hope for the best.

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