Our view: Prepare for the invasion of the vote catchers

They’re coming.

They’ll kiss your baby, shake your hand, rally your heart and gladly take your vote.

You only need to be prepared.

Every four years, they rise from the depths of statehouses and governor’s mansions across the country for one purpose – winning your support.

And now, after months of fanfare, they’re finally coming to Ohio.

Yesterday, we reported that Sen. Hillary Clinton will speak in Youngstown and Columbus today and tomorrow, with her daughter rallying for her at the University of Akron.

She’s the first candidate to visit the state as part of a national campaign.

Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign hasn’t released details of his Ohio campaign yet, but isn’t expected to be far behind. Republicans Sen. John McCain and Mike Huckabee will undoubtedly be here shortly as well.

Candidates from both parties are expected to participate in televised debates from Ohio later in the month.

And with the March 4 primary coming quickly, why wouldn’t they?

That’s where you come in. As young, possibly first-time voters, college students historically make up the body that drives the huge machine that is campaign season. They canvas, rally, pass out leaflets and drive their friends to the polls. And the candidates are more than happy to have them on the road.

But you owe it to yourself to make sure you’re informed.

While the national media gorge themselves with ads and controversy, they often leave out what’s really important – the platforms on which the candidates stand.

So during the influx of campaigns and candidates that is bound to occur, keep an eye on what the candidates actually say, not how a pundit spins it. Think of what is most important in your life, be it the cost of education, involvement in foreign wars, loss of jobs, condition of the environment or availability of health care. The list goes on and on.

Keeping these issues in mind, peruse the Web. Go to the each candidate’s Web site and see where they stand and what issues they identify as most important. Go to the Federal Election Commission’s Web site and look up how much money the candidates spend, where they spend it and how they get it.

Look at whether the candidates change what they say for who they’re speaking to.

Then, when they’re here – and they will be- go. See for yourself. Ask questions, if you can. Go see every and any candidate speak. We don’t need to explain how this election is historic; don’t miss out on a chance to be part of something, even if it’s by being an informed voter.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.

Check these out:

• BarackObama.com

• HillaryClinton.com

• JohnMcCain.com

• MikeHuckabee.com

• RonPaul2008.com