Electionally speaking, whatever that means, it has already been a long, long year and it will be a long, long time between now and November when the presidential election will finally be upon us.

It has not been pretty; in fact, it has been downright ugly. Whatever happened to civility?

It is a sad state of affairs when our country has to depend upon candidates who only know how to attack each other; little or no mention is ever given as to what improvements they could make for our country.

You can agree with the Republican candidates still on the stage, vying for the chance to be the Republican choice for the presidential election in November, on one thing – this is an extremely important election. After that, not much.

My sainted Papa would turn over in his grave to hear Republicans attack Republicans in such a vile manner, and he wasn’t even a Republican or at least I don’t think he was.

Unhappily, the Republicans do not have the market on this sort of behavior; Democrats and others can be just as uncivil.

My sainted Papa was a voter. He considered his vote to be most valuable. He cast his vote every time there was an election and reminded you to vote. Election day was almost like a holiday for Papa.

Politics were discussed at our dinner table. The one rule was that you could not criticize if you had not voted. There was one in-law who didn’t vote and he was completely ignored.

Close to home, local elections are coming to Opelika and it is important that you participate. You may not compare these local elections to the presidential election, but they are equally important.

Obviously, first you must be a registered voter. If you are not, go to the Lee County Courthouse Board of Registrars, and they will give you an application and then give you a card that shows you are a registered voter.

In order to vote in the primary, you must be registered prior to March 2.

It is not too soon to be checking out the candidates. Attend gatherings where they will be speaking. Listen to what they are saying. Are they really saying anything?

Hold your local candidates to the same high standard that you hold those seeking national office. What are the qualifications you look for in a candidate? Honesty, truthfulness, character, dependability, sincerity?

If you see any indication that the candidate has a “my way or the highway” attitude, mark him off your list immediately. Just look at the mess in Washington where that attitude seems to prevail.

On the local level especially, the candidate’s attitude toward education is critical to the advancement of education.

For America to regain or maintain (according to how you feel about the current status of the effectiveness of our education) it is imperative that our education be the best in the world. Every child deserves not good education, but the best education. By voting for candidates who show sincere interest in education, you will be furthering that ideal.

Granted, times are not good, money is short and there are many other functions of government that require funding, but education is our key to the future.

Electing candidates is akin to giving someone the right to sign your name because that is what they will be doing. Feel sure that the person you choose will be true to his (and your) causes. Be sure they will vote the way you would vote.

Bita Bullet is the pen name of a local anonymous writer who can be reached at opelikaobserver@att.net