Today’s the day we control our government

Today is Election Day. The polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and it’s the responsibility of every registered voter to go and cast their ballot for the candidates of their choice.

Much has been written about the rights of people to vote. Those who have lived here in Selma and Dallas County, throughout the Black Belt know that history all too well. It is a history shared with the nation and recalled in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

But with the right to vote also comes the responsibility of the electorate to be well informed and to vote based on information and knowledge, instead of relying on rhetoric devised on the computer screen of a copywriter for some 15-second television advertisement.

The act of voting is more detailed than simply voting straight party. That’s the easy way out.

Instead, it is the job of the voter — the constitutional responsbility — to know more about a candidate than simply the party they represent.

We find it irresponsible by some who are advocating such voting practices even if it is an option presented in the voting booth.

We expect our elected officials to be prepared for the job they are campaigning for, so why should we expect anything less of ourselves as voters?

Thus, before someone goes to the polls there is preparation involved so that the voter might express an opinion by means of the ballot. That’s how we preserve our political liberty, according to Thomas Jefferson.

So, prepare yourself, take the responsibility of citizenship and cast your ballot today.