By Bryan Warner

Emerging from the stifling heat of Independence Hall, where the 1787 Constitutional Convention was held in a closed-door, shut-window session, a sweltering Benjamin Franklin was asked by a passing woman, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin replied, “A republic -- if you can keep it.”

Franklin’s challenge speaks to the very foundation of our nation. If we are to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people, it requires that we the people put a bit of effort into choosing those who would represent us.

With a ballot that elects more statewide officials than most other states, North Carolina voters bear that responsibility more than many of their peers. For instance, this fall we will elect nine members of the Council of State, an executive-branch body made up of officials often appointed by the governor in other states, such as the commissioners of agriculture, labor and insurance.

Click Here for Full Article