I’ll never forget a certain family squabble between my father and his father about the way my dad voted in a previous election.

Without disclosing too much personal information, my papaw was significantly mad that my dad had voted for another political party than the one he supported.

As for much of Wayne County, I feel this probably a pretty common disagreement among families. There’s a reason they say don’t discuss politics at family functions.

However, what is more important than keeping your lips sealed about voting records and plans is being an educated voter.

The ability to file for candidacy opened this week, and though Wayne County isn’t flooded with applicants at this point there will be a few new faces in the ring. And then there’s the state and national elections. Oh vey, get ready for Facebook to go wild and the political commercials to plague television for the next several months.

When you walk into the polling booths this election day, I urge you to be an educated voter.

Find out all the information you can about each candidate and vote for the one you feel truly inspires change or keeps with the views that are most important to you. Do this with a little knowledge in the back of your mind.

Know who is up for each position and know who they are, even just a little bit. Know what they stand for and what they do not. If they are known, known where they have stood. If they are new, know what they bring to the table.

It can be overwhelming, trust me I know. As a professional in the news industry this time of year is eat, sleep and breath politics — and it can get exhausting — but with that comes knowledge.

When I head to the polls, more times than not, I know who I am voting for and I know why. And, I don’t tell other people, because for me its a personal decision.

I urge all of you to do the same. Look at the candidates and make an educated decision for the ones that best represent what you need and what this county, state and county needs.

Nikki Dotson Merritt is the Managing Editor of the Wayne County News.

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