The Union-Bulletin will begin its endorsements for the General Election on Sunday.
Whether voters agree with the U-B's recommendations is unimportant compared with the importance of making an informed vote.
Citizens have a responsibility to vote, and vote responsibly.
Unfortunately, many people don't vote and others don't take the time to educate themselves on the candidates and the issues.
But a community dialogue on the candidates and issues can generate interest and can encourage voters to learn more about the candidates and issues.
It is our hope that the recommendations will stimulate debate and discussion about the Nov. 8 General Election.
This year voters in Washington state face a ballot that includes the election of local city council members, school board members and a Port of Walla Walla commisisoner. Voters will decide whether initiatives become law and amendments to the state constitution are approved.
Some people have misconceptions about the motives of the Union-Bulletin's editorial endorsements. They seem to believe the Union-Bulletin hopes to influence the outcome of elections by making endorsements. Some even believe the newspaper hopes citizens will take its list of recommendations to the polls and mark their ballots accordingly.
That's not the case.
Whether voters agree with the Union-Bulletin's recommendations is unimportant compared with the importance of making an informed vote.
The Union-Bulletin believes it has a responsibility to the community to try to stimulate interest and debate in the campaign.
It further believes the best way to do so is to make recommendations, giving voters a starting point for discussions and debates about each issue and each race.
The opinions expressed in the Union-Bulletin's recommendations are those of its four-person Editorial Board, consisting of Publisher Rob Blethen, Editorial Page Editor Rick Eskil, Editor Rick Doyle and Human Resources Manager Lacey Town.
Endorsements are based on information obtained in interviews with the candidates and research of candidates and the issues in each campaign.
Letters will be published before the election as long as they are in the Union-Bulletin office by noon Nov. 1 and conform to the letter guidelines. The best way to send letters is via email. Our address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
But letter writers should keep in mind that ballots will be mailed on Oct. 21. The sooner letters are submitted the sooner they can be printed, meaning they will likely be seen by more voters.