Election 2011 Countdown: What You Need To Know Before Election Day
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By Larry Kane
My experience with elections: skip voting at your own risk. You have heard a lot about the high profile races, but you can bet on this – it’s not the big races that will extract money from your budget. It is the ignored, smaller contests that no one generally cares about that can hit you where it hurts.
Scenario One: A Judge, or District Justice, releases someone on bail, or hands out probation. The accused or convicted criminal strikes again. The judge has made a bad judgment, and someone else is hurt by a repeat offender. Where were you when the judge was elected in the first place? Were you sitting on your hands? Do you share in the guilt?
Scenario Two – A school board member, despite new state laws, has the ultimate power to propose tax increases. Did you vote for this school board member without examining his or her positions on taxes? You may be guilty of voter neglect.
Scenario Three– A Township Commissioner has the power to vote for community changes – stop signs, traffic lights, nicer roads. Did you fail to get a traffic light to protect the children on your street? Who voted against it? Do you know who your Commissioner is?
Scenario Four – Your school board decides to teach a curriculum that is based on politics. Your children are being taught conservative or liberal values. You want the kids to be taught all points of view. What went wrong? Did you check out the school board members before you voted? Did you vote?
All these scenarios have happened all across our country. That’s why those innocent little elections should not be ignored. No one should force you to vote or not to vote, but not voting could be hazardous in the long run.
THE “SIGNS” OF THE TIMES
They are the cheapest and most homegrown of all campaign advertising = thousands upon thousands of lawn signs for candidates from township commissioner to tax collector. They are really “out there” this year, and from what I’ve seen so far, this could be a record season.
In some cases, you see them multiply so quickly that fantasy images start emerging in your mind of “sign sergeants” who sneak out in the middle of the night. Every day, I see more signs, some of them planted in the ground in places were there were other signs the day before.
Who are these people? And what do they do with the signs that are ripped out of the ground? Do the signs really make a difference or are they mere vanity visuals for narcissistic candidate?
And finally, are the candidates willing to make sure they are picked up when the election is over?