Column: Do your research before casting your ballot

Tuesday, Nov. 5 is election day. Our district residents will select four school board members to serve our community. One of the positions will be a two-year term, while the other three positions will be four years in length. Please mark that day on your calendar and plan a trip to the polls.

Ed Saxton
Ed Saxton

Gathering information to vote for the candidates of your choice is important. Here are some avenues to help you prepare to make the best vote you can:

Check out printed materials. Lawn signs are in and around our district and could give you a start when doing your research.

Frequently, candidates will have cards or perhaps a three-fold handout to make some of their beliefs available to citizens.

Reviewing written information is always a good idea.

Check out publications. Consider taking some time to review the profiles of the eight citizens willing to serve in the capacity of school board member.

Check out opportunities to hear the candidates. On Oct. 22, some of our community members attended a candidate forum, hosted by the St. Francis Chamber of Commerce and the St. Francis Women of Today. The gathering featured eight residents interested in serving our school system as school board members. Questions were posed by members in attendance and each potential board member weighed in on a variety of topics.

If you have not been able to attend these types of informative meetings but are interested in researching the people running for office in your school district, information is most likely available on your district website.

Candidates may have reached out electronically. Facebook, Twitter, or perhaps a web page are all forms of communication, and voters generally gather information from the sources they are most comfortable using. Many people like to supplement information gathering with a personal conversation. These can take place anytime anywhere.

In and around our community in informal settings, candidates share their philosophy and their ideas to make ISD 15 an even better school system. Seek them out; get your questions answered. Whether you send a text message, an email, a tweet, share a post, make a phone call, review literature, or read a publication, you will create the opportunity to make an informed choice.

One of the most important responsibilities we have as citizens is the right to vote, and there is still time to do additional information gathering.

As you observe the campaign season moving toward election day, please exercise your right to vote for the school board members you support. It is important to vote for the people you believe will do a great job in office. It is important to vote for people you trust. It is important to vote for people you support. Most of all, it is important to vote.

See you at the polls on Nov. 5. The students who attend our schools are depending on your participation.

Ed Saxton is the superintendent of the St. Francis Independent School District 15.

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