GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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Opinion

November 4, 2012

Editorial: Kids' school lesson a message to all: get out and vote

On one level, Saturday’s Times story about the “mock election” carried out Friday by the pupils at Manchester’s Memorial School was cute, with the students getting a legitimate civics lesson by matching ideas with candidates, and then making their choice for president.

On another level, however, their efforts are not just lessons they can draw from their day in the classroom, and the voting in the school’s library. For the children’s comments can be seen as an important lesson to adults as well.

By all counts, the students took their civic duty very seriously, they learned all the could about where the candidates stand, they carefully considered their options — and ultimately made their selections.

Is that what you’ll do tomorrow?

Look, over the last week — and especially over this final election weekend — many residents in Gloucester and around Cape Ann expressed the sentiment that they can’t wait until Wednesday, when the 2012 elections will be over. And there’s a context to that. Let’s face it: the constant bombardment of campaign ads stuffed into our mailboxes and blared over our television sets, radios and even out of our computers through various online sites has been exhausting – not to mention disheartening in their dominant negative messages and tone.

But don’t even think about letting that discourage you from going to the polls on Tuesday. For, regardless of where you stand in any candidates or issues, this election can be seen as a true landmark decision for the future direction of our country and our communities. And you not only have a right to be part of it; it is, in fact, your civic duty to be part of it.

You may think that your vote doesn’t count, but it does — no less so than the vote of the person next door, down the street, across town, or across the state. And if you choose not to vote, then you’re basically relying only on those other folks to make your decisions for you. You deserve to have your voice heard in choosing a president, a senator, a congressman, and in deciding the fate of some important referendum questions. Don’t leave those choices to those neighbors or co-workers with whom you may very well disagree.

The kids at Manchester Memorial School seemed to grasp the importance of voting the other day — but do you?

Get out and perform your civic duty tomorrow, just as they did in their school library the other day. Be sure to get out and vote.

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