Our View: Being informed during election season

KS Editors

The Kent community is known for being green. We are a tree city and Kent State is a Tree Campus USA, the architects of the university’s new buildings are striving for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certifications.

In our front page story Thursday, “What the frack?! Ballot issue divides activists, city leaders,” we explained the Community Bill of Rights, a proposed amendment to the city charter that will be listed as Issue 21 on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The Kent Environmental Rights Group (KERG) which spearheaded the campaign to write the bill and put it before city council, said it would be a proactive measure to prevent hydraulic fracturing, a process that raises many environmental concerns- within the city limits.

In the eyes of City Law Director James Silver, though the bill represents the environmental ideals the city strives to attain, it is “a horribly written document,” and, in his opinion, is unenforceable and unconstitutional.

The ideas of clean air and water and a sustainable environment are commendable, and this bill provides one option to attain them.

Whether or not it’s the best option is now in the hands of the voters. With that being said, it is important for voters to educate themselves on the issue — and all other issues and candidates on the ballot — well before Nov. 4.

It’s not just local issues on the ballot, either. Candidates for State Board of Education, local judges and State representatives will all have a stake in the election’s outcome. Those elected to these positions have the ability to determine tremendous amounts of public policy. We feel that to be a responsible voter is to know who you are voting for and what they want to accomplish if elected.

The voter registration deadline for Portage County is Oct. 6, and with that deadline approaching, it is important that people do register and begin to research before they go to the polls.

Uninformed voting does not foster productive change in a community. The time to get informed is now.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the The Kent Stater editorial board, whose names are listed above.