What I heard from the news was that the election was a primary for some school and mayorial spots, and that would be some referenda as well, the Holy Grail of democracy. So I went to the polls, hoping to mess with the system somewhat. And I knew, this being a minor election, that my vote would actually count since so few people bother to vote for anything other than President of the United States of America.
What I found when I got there, much to my chagrin, was one list of names under the heading "State School Superintendent", none of whom I had ever heard of, much less knew their positions on any issues, and with no party affiliations or anything to even make any sort of semi-informed decision on the matter.
Therefore, I just picked one.
Turns out I picked the top vote-getter among all the candidates, which totally goes against what I stand for. God forbid I should ever vote for a popular candidate over one who agrees with my views!
Yes, I'll accept some blame for not seeking out what we were voting for before hand, but the news shows I watched never mentioned any of the candidates by name, let alone where we could go for more information on them. Neither did they say which precincts had referenda to vote on.
Isn't that the media's primary function, to give us information on what's happening in our communities? Especially when it comes to something as important as an election, even a primary one? And if I don't know anything about the candidates, what hope does the normal voter have of making an informed decision? For all I know, I and 50,000 others just voted for a superintendent who stands for a school year of 30 one-hour days, or something equally ridiculous!
No wonder our country is in the shape it's in!
I guess there are a couple of questions that come from this:
1. How much responsibility does the media have to inform voters? After all, we can't inform ourselves if we don't know where to look.
2. Why don't the candidates buy ad spots for primary elections, if only to promote themselves for the upcoming general election? After all, at this level every vote really does count, especially if there are 1,000 total (!)
3. Why are so many people content to let someone else have power over them by sitting back and letting them vote? Even at the national level, 25% of the people can determine the Leader of the Free World if 50% of the people don't vote, and it gets much worse at the local level, where it really matters!