Watch, read and don’t vote for a yard sign

Published 6:25 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Today’s the day. Early voting sites are open in all four corners of Beaufort County, and ballots are waiting for you to make your mark. There’s something exciting about election season — especially when it comes to state and local races. Every vote matters.

If you don’t believe us, think back to the 2015 municipal election. In no less than five North Carolina municipalities, races for town councils and boards of aldermen were settled with a coin flip after candidates tied in the final estimation. The same thing happened in Manteo in 2017.

While the odds of a dead tie are significantly less in a county-wide race, the examples above illustrate the power of one vote. As that’s all that each of us are entitled to under law, it’s best not to waste it, and there are two ways that could theoretically happen.

One, you could count yourself among the approximately 40 percent (60 percent during midterms) of Americans who don’t vote. If you choose to squander your vote in this manner, at least you can take comfort in knowing that you won’t do so alone.

The second way you can waste your vote is almost as bad as not voting, and that’s going into the ballot box and casting your vote based on a yard sign. While that isn’t a common thing to do, when you go to the polls uninformed, that’s basically what you’re doing. You may vote for a name or a party, without ever giving consideration to what a candidate actually stands for.

The only thing worse than a non-voter is an uninformed voter.

As a way of helping ensure Beaufort County voters go to the polls armed with the best knowledge they can have, the WDN hopes to see our readers take advantage of two tools coming to the table this week. The first, which you can find inserted in today’s edition, is our annual Election Guide, which contains information on every candidate for local and state office who will appear on the ballot, and their platform in their own words.

The second is a video that will be shared later this week on City Channel 9, Youtube and the Washington Daily News website. This recording of the candidate forum on Monday will offer those who could not attend a chance to see and hear the candidates share their beliefs and platform.

As you go to the polls during the next few weeks, we encourage you to do so in the most informed manner possible. Whatever you do, don’t vote for a yard sign.