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Information is key

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

In his “Views” column, News Editor Kevin Lyons makes some excellent points about the importance of local elections on all of us and what appears to be voter apathy when looking at the numbers of people who actually vote.

However, its unfortunate but true that the majority of the population can deal with the federal elections because there are far fewer positions to become familiar with and far more information available about the candidates, their positions on issues, etc.

The problems with local elections are:

1. There are too many local elective offices (too much government)?

2. Most people are unfamiliar with the many, many local decision-making bodies and exactly what decisions they make.

3. Unlike federal or even state offices, there is far less information available in the media about the candidates and their positions.

Perhaps the Northwest Herald could provide more expansive coverage on local elections and their impact on all of us, combined with more detailed information about the candidates. Perhaps local governments might even provide a centralized website detailing how local government works and who decides what. As of now, this information is spread all over the individual organizations’ websites, if at all.

Information is the key to participation. While fewer local government entities should be a goal, how about helping us all to be able to participate by making more informed voting decisions?

Stephen J. Gohmann


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