Munro: What’s your rush to cast that ballot?
About this time each election year, Sky-Hi News employees field inquiries about why we haven’t yet covered certain political issues or races.
“The ballots have arrived; it will be too late by next week,” is a familiar refrain, particularly from anxious candidates.
The dilemma facing news outlets is that running these stories before ballots arrive might be too early for those who prefer to wait until Election Day to vote. By then, they often can no longer locate the stories or they complain they weren’t looking for them early and they missed them.
Election Day has, in essence, morphed into Election Fortnight in this age of the mail ballot. My theory has been to essentially split the difference.
Plus, I’m one of those throwbacks who perceives manifest reasons to wait and vote later in the cycle. Not least of these is late-breaking revelations about candidates that could influence how one votes.
Never happen in Grand County, right? Uh-huh. No surprises here.
Moreover, according to some polls and anecdotal evidence, the vast majority of people who cast ballots within the first few days of their arrival decided long beforehand how they were going to vote. A candidate would practically have to commit murder on live television to get these people to change their minds. Publishing election information for their benefit, then, is perhaps an exercise in futility at the expense of others who prefer to be more deliberate.
Indeed, many of those who wait are the “swing voters” so coveted and needed by candidates to win in states such as Colorado.
So, what’s the hurry?
Relax, take time to smell the campaign carnage. Savor the negativity. Revel in the half-truths and outright fabrications smeared all over your TV screen and stuffed into your P.O. box.
I’m joking of course. Count me among those who is forever grateful for the mute button and the conveniently located trash can at the post office during elections. Yet, I am equally happy to receive a ballot in the mail and the time it affords me to peruse it at my leisure rather than standing in line at the local precinct polling place. And that’s true regardless of my preference to cast my ballot in person and find an appropriate place to display the “I Voted” sticker.
Yet, it is the arrival of that same ballot nearly three weeks before the fateful day that is responsible for the unfortunate extension of the now months-long smear festival we have come to know as election season.
Regardless of your voting preferences — early, often or late — by all means do vote. The evidence of why it matters is all around you.
The loyal un-opposition
Just a quick observation: Political action groups may be sprouting around Grand County like wildflowers in the spring, but the Grand County ballot is marked by a curious absence of challengers.
This struck me during an election forum in Kremmling on Wednesday night. There sat Assessor Tom Weydert, Coroner Brenda Bock, Treasurer Christina Whitmer and Commissioner-in-waiting Kristen Manguso. Clerk and Recorder Sara Rosene would have been there as well if not for a medical emergency in her office.
All stand unopposed in the November election. Wydert and Bock are finishing their second terms. Manguso is anticipating her first. Whitmer and Rosene are finishing 24 years in office with at least another four in prospect.
Is it unreasonable to conclude that, at least with respect to those offices, Grand County citizens are content with the status quo?
Drew can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-887-3334.
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