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Eagle editorial: Exercise right to vote

  • Published Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, at 5:40 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, at 7:16 p.m.

At last Americans will have the privilege and pleasure of having the last word, as they exercise the right to vote that so many of their fellow Americans have fought and died for since the nation’s foundation. This big day will decide a lot.

The national election will settle what has been a 17-month, nearly $3 billion battle for the White House, and set the course for the next president and Congress on the pressing problems of the budget deficit, taxes, health care and national security. Kansas seems a sure thing for Republican Mitt Romney, with the question for President Obama being whether his tally will be closer to his own nearly 42 percent in 2008 or, say, President Carter’s 33 percent in 1980.

Not surprisingly, Obama has been absent from Kansas since he used Osawatomie last December to try out the theme of his re-election campaign (“We are greater together – when everyone engages in fair play, everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share”).

But he has been central to the Kansas campaigns since last summer, with the Kansas Republican Party and the state and Wichita chambers of commerce trying to tie moderate Republicans and Democrats to Obamacare and other elements of the president’s first term. The GOP primary already assured them conservative control of the Senate and a Legislature less likely to show resistance toward Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s agenda for tax cuts, school finance, judicial selection and more. The remaining question is how many Democrats will be around to voice official dissent come January.

Local voters may be frustrated to find their ballots full of uncontested races; the names of unchallenged Sedgwick County judges especially seem to go on and on. Regrettably, much of the suspense was over Aug. 7, when the Republicans among the 20.4 percent of registered voters in the county who turned out chose five judges and the first new district attorney since 1989.

But local voters still have key choices to make about one Sedgwick County Commission seat, one judicial race and two dozen legislative contests, as Wichitans decide whether to fluoridate the water and voters statewide choose whether to do something about Kansas’ out-of-sight boat taxes. Voters still undecided about races and issues should check out the voter guide at Kansas.com and The Eagle editorial board endorsements at Kansas.com/opinion.

Then they should do as the founders intended and vote.

For the editorial board, Rhonda Holman

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