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Will you step into the booth?


A resident steps into his local precinct to cast his vote on the candidateof his choice during a recent election. The Johnson County, TN election is now scheduled for August 2018. Photo by Tamas Mondovics.

By Tamas Mondovics

What is an election? For many, to describe what an election is may be simple, while for others perhaps just as difficult.Perhaps the simple answer is that an election is a process of voting to decide the leadership that guides legislation and enforcement of regulations.

Serious candidates work tirelessly to persuade people to support them in hopes of making such decisions as easy as possible and ultimately to win an election.Such efforts include the identifying policies, explaining what they would or would not do if they were elected. Each political party spends great efforts to prepare a list of policies that they are promising to carry out if they are elected. This is called a platform.
The rest comes down to citizens making their choice in secret by marking a ballot.

As passionate, opinionated or concerned many are, the right to vote is often said to be taken for granted.
One of the reasons for such view has a lot to do with the fact that elsewhere in the world many people have no say concerning their political leaders, which prompts the emphasis and importance of participating in the election process whenever the opportunity is afforded to do so.As to who will eventually step into the voting booth boils down to a variety of reasons and if the last general election is any indication, things can get ugly quite easily.

Interestingly, during the 2016 election NPR asked its listeners who felt angry, and others who explained why they felt excited, disappointed or hopeful.Some of the sobering responses as it was reported by the news organization included such expressions as “Don’t have control,” “Anxious,” “Working hard is no guarantee,” Exciting,’’ “Saddened,’’ “Hate” and “Hopeful” topped the chart.

Of course, that was then, and this is now. Time has passed. What has changed? Are things good, bad or ugly?Deciding whom to vote for requires more than just siding with a particular political party.
Reading as much as possible on the candidates’ beliefs, concerns and voter history will help make the best decision possible before one steps into the voting booth. And, that is what election really is.