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As newsies, the Beacon newsroom is always abuzz with conversations about local and national events.
With the May primary only a few months away and races heating up with nearby debates in South Carolina, the topic of late has been the presidential election.
The newsroom is a good mix of conservatives and liberals, and discussions are always fun and interesting. I count my blessings to be involved with a group of people who, although their views may differ, really care about what’s going on in the world.
In their quest to find information about the topics and issues that are important to them, they never fail to share ideas.
But sadly, as we all know, not everyone has such an interest in all things political, social and world-driven. Apathy has become all too common in our social landscape. I’ve inquired of some people about their presidential preferences, only to be told they had no idea—they weren’t up on the candidates or the issues at hand.
Apathy, unfortunately, has been a cause of low voter registration and low voter turnout. Among those leading the apathetic pack are young voters, those who’d rather be on the Internet or watching television than taking the time to research issues.
Candidates are aware of this. They know if they want to get their message out to the gamut of potential voters, they need to refer to technology—launching ads and campaign commercials from the television and the Internet. Being hip and technologically savvy is just as important to potential governmental leaders these days as is understanding how a bill becomes a law.
So what’s out there for those who really aren’t really that interested in investing much of their time in the political arena? A Web site, of course.
Recently, an e-mail moved through one of my e-mail boxes suggesting I check out www.electoralcompass.com.
Any apathetic potential voter who has a few minutes to log online now has the opportunity to match up his or her views with a candidate running for president in 2008.
It’s like having all the research done for you, and all you have to do is sit back and make a few clicks.
The site, Electoral Compass USA, was created to help voters understand where they align with candidates. After logging in and clicking “start,” visitors will be guided through 36 questions that ask opinions on everything from the war in Iraq to abortion and taxes.
At the end, you’re given information showing which candidate your opinions are most like. All the other candidates are there as well. The site gives you the opportunity to see where you measure up, based on percentages, with each candidate.
You can even save your position by creating a log-in so you can come back later and spend more time soaking up the easily obtainable knowledge.
In these days of computers, the Internet, television, radio, newspapers and everything in between, there’s no excuse for not having a thought-out position about the political landscape.
All the tools are there before us. It’s our responsibility to make the decisions to use them wisely and then show up to the polls in May and November.
STACEY MANNING is the managing editor at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email@example.com.