The local Granges did a wonderful thing recently. As you may know, there are nearly 50 candidates running for the Whatcom County Charter Review Commission. Because there are so many of us, it is difficult for us to get much face time with the voters. It just isn’t practical to have debates or forums with 50 candidates.
The Granges had town hall meetings in each of the three Whatcom County Council districts. To keep things simple, each location hosted just the candidates from that district (because there are a lot of candidates).
You find the Grange closest to you, and just show up! It was great, but here’s the sad part: Most of the candidates and only a smattering of voters showed up. Confusion and lack of interest in the charter review process is probably to blame. But then I have to ask, “How will you vote?” And it started me thinking: How does anyone vote, if they don’t know the candidates or the issues?
This isn’t a multiple-guess test. I think the ballots should have the following instruction: If you are not sure how to vote a section of your ballot, I think that you should leave it blank. There is no penalty for not making a selection if you don’t have a clue. But there could be a big penalty for guessing wrong. Elections have consequences.