Put the paper down and go vote!
Not too often will you hear a newspaper publisher tell you to put the paper down, but today is an important day — it is Election Day. It has all come down to today. We’ve endured months of campaign ads, debates, special interest groups and election rhetoric.
But everything will come to an end today as control shifts back to our hands. It ends with a quiet moment in voting booths across the state. I just hope that we have not endured all the campaigning for nothing by not voting.
Elections are an exciting time for newspapers. This fall has presented us with several local and statewide races and initiatives that appear to be close. And the spending in some of these races is borderline insane. Prop 1 supporters and opponents have spent a combined $7 million hoping to convince you they are right.
Beyond our reporters covering the campaigns, the editorial board had countless sit downs with candidates to learn more and ask questions. It is interesting to watch how candidates develop over the span of a campaign. I am sure there are many lessons learned while campaigning for months — and what the candidates do with those lessons is even more interesting. When we meet with candidates, we look for ones who can have a conversation with us about the issues and get beyond the campaign slogans. We look for substance in their thinking because after today, whoever is elected needs to go to work and not just produce a sound bite.
This year we have endorsed a wide range of candidates — both republicans and democrats. These are folks we think can do the best job for eastern Idaho. Maybe we are right. Maybe we are wrong. It really isn’t about predicting winners or losers; it is about furthering the conversation and informing voters.
At the end of the day, we are all on equal footings. We each have one vote to give and that vote speaks louder than all the rhetoric combined. Let’s not let our voices be silenced by staying home today. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today.
So, put down the paper and head to your local polling place and make your voice heard. It is one of the few days we can ensure politicians are listening.
Travis Quast is the president and regional publisher of the Idaho State Journal and Adams Publishing Group’s East Idaho and Utah region.