The window of opportunity for people to declare themselves as candidates for public office has no closed and there is not a single uncontested race in any of the three municipalities in eastern Wake County.
That means voters here have a choice. Actually, they have two choices.
Voters can choose from among the candidates and they can choose whether to cast informed votes based on the candidates and their philosophies and motivations or they can cast an uninformed vote based on who they know, which name they recognize or what someone said around the office water cooler.
We get the government we deserve. An informed electorate which studies the candidates, asks questions of the candidates and insists on thoughtful answers from the candidates will most likely vote the most qualified candidates into office. Voters who simply pull this lever or fill in that circle are much less likely to come to the best conclusion.
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Becoming an informed voter requires some degree of effort, which means, sadly, we aren’t likely to have the most informed electorate we could have. For far too many people, taking the time to study candidates and their backgrounds and philosophies is a job they aren’t willing to take on.
That fact becomes doubly important when you consider the relatively light turnout that takes place in an off-year election. We won’t be voting for a president, governor or U.S. Senator this November. The town boards and councils are the only thing on the ballot. And becuase that’s not as high-profile a race as many state and national elections are, that means fewer will vote, disproportionately raising the value of each vote cast.
Since each vote becomes that much more important, it is equally the case that those casting ballots should enter their polling places with a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate on the ballot.
Candidates won’t kick their campaigns into high gear until sometime after Labor Day. But there’s nothing whatever from stopping voters from starting their research now and coming to the best possible decision come November.