Drew Munro – It’s almost time to vote: Do you know where your candidate is?
July 13, 2010
In four months, voters will cast ballots in one of the more eagerly anticipated mid-term elections in recent memory. For many of us in the media, that day can’t come and go fast enough.
It’s not that we don’t enjoy being part of the process. Many of us are, if nothing else, political creatures.
It’s that candidacies and causes have a way of consuming people like few other things, and such single-mindedness has a habit of running roughshod over all in its path. When you’re subjected to dozens of these juggernauts, by the time Election Day rolls around, you’re often pleased to see it fading from sight in the rearview mirror.
In any event, we do have plans to cover the election. On June 30 we sent out questionnaires to 10 local primary election candidates. The questionnaires include specific instructions and deadlines for responding and give everyone precisely the same opportunity to convey their messages.
If you’re running for a local office in the primary and did not receive a questionnaire, let me know immediately.
We’re planning to run the responses in the July 21 and July 23 editions, about three weeks before the Aug. 10 primary. This is an attempt to walk the line between those who send their mail-in ballots back early and those who will wait until the day of the election to vote.
If we run the information too early, late voters will demand that we run the information again or will accuse us of not having run it at all. If we run it too late, many will already have cast their ballots. And we certainly don’t intend to waste valuable space or try readers’ patience by printing the information more than once.
There is, after all, more to life than politics. Those who are up to their necks in it often lose sight of that fact. If you’re one them, tread lightly on the rest of us.
Affiliate, if you dare
Speaking of which, between now and Nov. 9, it’s a certainty that at least one liberal will accuse me of letting my conservative bias slip into our coverage, and at least one conservative will accuse me of the opposite.
For the record: I am among the majority of Coloradans who remains proudly unaffiliated, and I always have been. On occasion, I have affiliated with both the Republican and Democratic parties in order to vote in the primary election and then unaffiliated for the general election.
Monday, July 12, was the last day to register to vote in the Aug. 10 primary. But it was not the last day to declare a party affiliation.
Registered unaffiliated voters may join a party on the day they vote, though they will have to wait at least a day to sever party ties after voting.
This strikes me as a silly exercise. Why can’t unaffiliated voters just request one ballot or the other?
In a state where the majority of voters are not members of either major political party, Colorado politics remain stubbornly mired in anachronistic party-bound nonsense such as caucuses and party-specific primaries. I like to think it won’t be long before Coloradans follow in California’s footsteps with a Proposition 14-like measure.
Prop 14 requires that all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, run in a single primary open to all registered voters, with the top two vote-getters meeting in a general election runoff.
Wow. Democracy freed from the surly bonds of party politics. What a concept.
Democrat, Republican or otherwise, stand up and be heard by participating in this year’s elections.
– Drew can be reached at (970) 887-3334 ext. 19600 or at email@example.com