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A Study Guide for the Ohio Ninth-Grade Citizenship Proficiency Test
Cultural Diversity Charts and Graphs

S. Evaluating Officials and Issues
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Public officials are responsible to the people they serve. Therefore it is important that voters think seriously about those they elect. The candidate who merely talks well and who promises more than he or she can deliver is not the person for the job. Certain fundamental things must be considered as criteria for public office. Is the candidate honest, hard-working? Do his policies and voting record reflect the interest of the people who elected him, or is he out for political or personal gain?

Issues or matters to be decided by voters at the ballot box, also deserve careful attention. These may concern matters affecting schools, roads, taxes, welfare payments and job opportunities. Before every election there will be a lot of propaganda over TV. One has to distinguish between exaggerated sound-bites and fair, impartial discussion of issues. Good sources of information include reputable local or national newspapers and magazines, national news broadcasts and the local public television station. In other words, articles and programs which are not slanted and whose claims are supported by facts can be considered reliable.

The informed citizen is perhaps a nation's most important asset. Background information on all subjects is available at your public or school library. For example, encyclopedias and atlases are fine sources. Learning to use Charts and Graphs which follow is another way of adding to your general knowledge.

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