Voters Participating in Local Elections Should Keep Themselves More Informed

With the elections little more than a month away, most of the attention is focused on the presidential election. One would be hard pressed to avoid having at least a basic knowledge of the race, given the 24/7 media coverage. Yet, on a local level, how much do you really know?

Not only will there be national contests, but also races for school boards, city councils and state assembly positions. When you think about it, most voters don’t really know very much about the people and issues at stake.

For the average voter, all they know about these candidates is the information in the short blurbs in the voter information guides that the county mails out. These brief summaries of the candidates’ platforms are of little use. They tend to be filled with generalities and statements that are impossible to disagree with, like how the candidate wants to “improve the community.”

When one votes with only this kind of cursory understanding, it is hardly any better than picking names out of a hat. However, being an informed voter on local issues isn’t that hard. Simply visiting the candidates websites and reading more about the issues that are important to them vastly increases the knowledge with which one votes. Better yet, if you have time, go to a candidate forum or two.

Deciding who to vote for in a local election often ends up being a random choice, but it doesn’t have to be. A little time put in upfront can lead to a vastly more informed voter.

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