Our view: Let's top 1992 election turnout

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Election Day is less than a week away, and the Moffat County Clerk and Recorder's Office is busy this week attending to what appears to be a record turnout for early voting.

We're pleased that Moffat County voters have made a commitment to participate in the democratic process. Back in June, we began a weekly series, "Your Vote Counts," through which we've attempted to illuminate the importance of voting with news articles, guest columns and editorials.

We challenged our readers to make voting in this year's primary and general elections a matter of crucial importance. Our reasoning was that voter turnout was less than 60 percent the last time we had a presidential election. At a time when our nation's soldiers are dying to give Iraqis the right of free elections, we thought it was important to remind readers not to dismiss that right at home.

The primary turnout wasn't bad -- 32 percent of registered voters made it to the polls -- but we're confident we can do better in the general election. Our hope is that we can top our best turnout, which came during the 1992 presidential election. That year, 73 percent of the county's registered voters cast ballots.

Through the "Your Vote Counts" campaign we've tried to take voting from a lofty ideal to a common value for our readers.

But there's a caveat. Don't vote just for the sake of voting. Take time to be informed on the issues. If you go to the polls because you want to cast a vote for president, but you don't know anything about Amendment 34, then skip that question on the ballot. There's no law that says you have to vote for every race or ballot issue.

There's still time to get up to speed on the issues. Talk to the local candidates. Read the Secretary of State's Blue Book, which lists the pros and cons of statewide referendums. Read the Daily Press Voters Guide.

Through voting, we put power in the hands of elected officials to chart the course of this county, this state and this country. We have the power to change things, but we have to use it wisely.

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