On Tuesday, primary elections will be held in three of the four wards in the city.

If we went to lunch together, would you let me order for you?

Of course you wouldn’t. Why should I choose which value meal you get at Dairy Queen?

If you wouldn’t let me decide whether you get a cheeseburger or a chicken strip basket, why would you let me decide who represents you on the Augusta City Council.

On Tuesday, primary elections will be held in three of the four wards in the city.

It is too important for you not to care. No seat went uncontested for the city council this year. Only Bob McCalla ran unopposed for a school board seat.

Next Tuesday, nine people will be waiting for you to cast your vote. They threw their hats in the ring because they care about the city enough to spend their time, effort and money to do their part.

No one gets rich from being on the City Council or School Board. They’re basically volunteers.

When you add in the added stress and heartache that can come along with the position, you understand the sacrifice they make in order to help make Augusta a better place to live.

You have to respect people who care enough to sign up to make that sacrifice.

They did their part and joined the race. You owe it to them and to yourself to pick your favorite.

Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday we recently celebrated, knew better than to take the results of an election personally. There are a million reasons people may choose one candidate over another. The important thing is that you make your vote count.

“Elections belong to the people,” Lincoln said. “It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

There are many great people on the ballot this year.

In Ward One, recently appointed Council Member Mike Martin is being challenged by Jason Lowery and Ken Brinkman.

In Ward Two, Council Member Mike Huddleston is running against Jamie Hubbard and Mark Knowles.

In Ward Four, Council Member Ron Reavis is challenged by Rick Voisin and Dan Helmer.

The top two candidates from each of the Feb. 26 primary elections will face off in the General Election on April 2.

Two other races will also be on the April 2 ballot. Ward Three voters will decide between Council Member Mike Rawlings and challenger Cale Magruder on April 2 and school board voters will choose between Board Member Andy Hall and Ray Jones on that day, as well.

All of the candidates are trying to convince you that you should vote for them. It is up to you to get to know them so you can choose wisely.

Franklin Roosevelt said it very well.

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely,” FDR said. “The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

So educate yourself and get to the polling places and vote.

Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers. He can be contacted at: publisher@augustagazette.com.