Vote for yourself on Election Day

election day 01a - feature photo

Like many students the night before a major exam, some voters are probably cramming in an effort to understand the issues and candidates before they hit the polls Tuesday.

If you are already prepped; good for you.  Get a good night’s sleep and we will see you at the polling stations.   Polls are open from 7 a.m.  to 7 p.m.  If you don’t know where your polling station is, contact your county auditor or go to the South Dakota Secretary of State website and click on the icon at the bottom of the home page, “Where do I vote?

If you still need a little help, here’s the best tip … help yourself.  Here’s a link to all the ballot issues.

First of all, forget the surveys and the spin put on them.  Make your ballot decisions based upon solid facts on the issues and whether you personally believe a candidate is the best choice for the job.

I’ll back up my caution on surveys.  There is a Nielson Brothers poll being flouted that states 56 percent of South Dakotans are not in favor of Initiated Measure 15, the one-cent sales tax hike for education and healthcare.  That is a September 2011 poll.  Nielson Brothers did another poll this September and the number opposed to the increase in sales tax dropped to 32 percent, with 25 percent undecided.  And another poll puts those in favor of the penny addition at 60 percent.  So take a look at the measure and make up your own mind.  Polls are like economists (paraphrasing a former president here), they point in all directions.

As for candidates, voters continue to be peppered by special interest post cards that either anoint or damn a politician.  Considering the closeness we have with our elected citizens, you can probably just call the candidate and ask “What’s up?”  You don’t need shadowy groups (or individuals as is the case in some campaigns) to steer you.  You can navigate through the political “He said, she said” without anyone’s help.

So when you put pen to paper on election day … do it for yourself!

About Jack Siebold

Jack Siebold began his journalism career in 1973 as a sports reporter for a weekly military newspaper at Keesler AFB, Miss. This was followed by a stint as a reporter at another military paper in Texas; then jobs as a weekly newspaper editor in Turkey, Italy and England. Jack finally landed in South Dakota to finish his military journalism career at Ellsworth AFB. Jack shifted to broadcast news when he retired from the military in 1993 and was hired by KOTA TV News as the assignment editor. In 19 years with KOTA, Jack was the assignment editor, general assignment reporter, senior reporter, a producer and finally assistant news director before retiring in 2012. After a short retirement (spent working at Black Hills Harley-Davidson due to his love of motorcycles) Jack returned to KOTA as the online media specialist for MyTown. Jack’s journalism honors include two awards from the Associated Press for investigative reporting and a documentary series. During his military career, he earned 13 awards for editorial, news and sports writing; photojournalism and newspaper management. During the Persian Gulf War (1990-1991), Jack was assigned to the Central Command public affairs staff where he helped develop plans, policies and procedures as well as providing guidance for public affairs officers in the Persian Gulf Theater. Jack’s military honors include the Bronze Star for service in the Persian Gulf War; two Meritorious Service Medals, three Commendation Medals, Achievement Medal, Liberation of Kuwait Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, and two National Defense Medals; the Air Force Public Affairs Outstanding Senior NCO for 1992. Jack and his wife Margaret (a Rapid City special education teacher) spend as much time as they can on their Harley, on the open road.

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