Casting a ballot is only part of each citizen's responsibility at election time.
To exercise their franchise fully, voters need to do enough homework to make good decisions. Fortunately, it's never been easier to be an informed voter.
A recap of our recommendations on this year's races appears below. The full editorials are available at www.tricityherald.com/recommendations.
But as much as we value our considered opinion on the candidates and issues, our best advice is to delve deeper.
Charter cable subscribers can use the Charter on demand feature to access a wide variety of candidate forums, and even a few of the Herald editorial board's interviews. Many of the programs are also posted on youtube.com -- just search for Charter Channel 3.
If you have access to the Internet, the resources are almost endless. Project Vote Smart is a great place to start researching candidates for federal offices and the state Legislature.
The nonpartisan website's political courage test providesa wealth of information about the candidates' positions on issues ranging from abortion to taxation, but only for those brave enough to provide the data.
Congratulations to 4th Congressional District candidates Doc Hastings and Jay Clough for taking the test and letting voters know where they stand.
Go to www.votesmart.org to find out which candidates weren't as forthcoming.
Other resources are available. An online voters guide is available at the secretary of state's website -- www.sos.wa.gov. A video guide to statewide races, including all the ballot measures, can be found at www.tvw.org.
If all else fails, use your web browser's search function to find out more about specific candidates or voter initiatives.
Here's our recommendations for Mid-Columbia voters.
w U.S. Senate -- Patty Murray
w 4th Congressional District -- Doc Hastings
w Initiative 1053: Supermajority for tax increases -- No
w Initiative 1082: Worker compensation insurance -- No
w Initiative 1098: State income tax -- No
w Initiative 1100: Retailers liquor proposal -- No
w Initiative 1105: Wholesalers liquor proposal -- No
w Initiative 1107: Repeal candy tax -- Yes
w Referendum 52: Green energy bonds for schools -- No
w SJR 8225: Redefine "interest" in state Constitution -- Yes
w HJR 4220: Denying bail in serious crimes -- Yes
w Justice, Position 6 -- Charlie Wiggins
w Senate -- Jerome Delvin
w House -- Carol Moser
w House -- Maureen Walsh
w House -- Joe Schmick
w House -- Bill Hinkle
w House, 1 -- Bruce Chandler
w House, 2 -- David Taylor
w Move county seat -- Yes
w Assessor -- Barbara Wagner
w Auditor -- Brenda Chilton
w Commissioner -- Shon Small
w Coroner -- Alberta Redwing
w District Court, 3 -- Dan Kathren
w District Court, 4 -- Joe Burrowes
w Auditor -- Zona Lenhart
w Commissioner -- Rick Miller
w Prosecuting Attorney -- Steve Lowe
w Treasurer -- Tiffany Coffland
w Franklin PUD -- Roger Wright