From the Editorial Board: Why we aren't endorsing anyone for president

Today marks the end of our 2012 endorsement process. For those of you wondering if you missed our presidential endorsement, let us assure you that you didn’t. That is because this year we are not endorsing for president. For several years now, editorial board members have debated the value of newspaper endorsements, particularly for president. The debate at times has seemed as vigorous as the campaign itself. The decision not to endorse was not an easy one, nor one arrived at quickly, but is part of another important change in how we handle endorsements.

As you may be aware, this year we expanded our endorsement process to include citizens from our community. Those who volunteered have been featured on these pages. They sat through all the interviews with the candidates, engaged in the discussions after the interviews and then voted on the candidates they felt we should endorse. Each of their votes counted the same as the votes of our Editorial Board members.

That endorsement process is in place because The Telegraph typically has a level of access to local candidates that many citizens do not. Meeting face-to-face and one-on-one with the candidates allows us to gauge how well informed they are on the key issues affecting our area, insights rarely gleaned simply by reading a yard sign or bumper sticker. We believe we are providing a needed service in sharing with you the candidates’ positions, issue by issue, and then recommending who we think will do the best job.

But when it comes to the presidential race, there is a great deal of information provided by a wide array of sources, from the candidates’ own websites, to sites that support a specific candidate, to televised debates that provide information to most any citizen who wants to know where President Obama and Gov. Romney stand.

Our strategy during this presidential campaign season has been to provide you with an abundance of that information as well as ongoing coverage of the presidential contest in general. We have tried to arm you with a range of content from news and analysis to commentary to help you make a choice. Rather than telling you who we think is the best candidate or who you should vote for in this race, we want simply to encourage you to vote. The ability to select our leaders, both nationally and locally, is one of the most important rights we have as Americans. No matter who you think should lead our country over the next four years, please take advantage of your right to participate in that decision.