Editorial: On Tuesday, go exercise your right

Nov. 02, 2013 @ 10:24 PM

For the communities holding elections on Tuesday with unopposed candidates in races, good luck.

Those with competition should reap the benefits in the coming terms of those winning the seats.

The phrase “these aren’t big elections” is ridiculous. All elections are meaningful, and we believe the elections on the local level are every bit as important as those on the national and state level.

These are the candidates who can change a local ordinance. These are the candidates who work most closely with people that will provide law enforcement, fire protection, offer amenities like electricity, water and sewer, and who will essentially be seen and heard by us far more than anyone else we elect.

Remember all those protests in the General Assembly on Mondays during the summer? The people protesting said they wanted to meet with their lawmakers and were being turned away.

Go to a meeting in a local municipality, follow the rules to sign up to speak, and your elected reps will hear.

Back in July (“Our voters deserve competition,” July 3), we promised our communities no true change if incumbents were not challenged. And we explained reasoning shared by, among others, many political science professors at esteemed universities across our state.

Competitive elections yield fuller and richer debate on the issues affecting us. Candidates ultimately, in one-on-one conversations with constituents, have to take a stand and be held accountable.

Without competition, this doesn’t happen.

Without competition, there is no exchange of ideas.

While we may feel that an incumbent or an unopposed candidate holds the same view as we do, how can we know with little or nothing else presented?

Filing ended and several races drew competition. Many others did not.

But even without contested races, the registered voters of each municipality have a dutiful obligation on Tuesday. They should be out casting their votes, deciding if those on the ballot deserve to be representative of the citizens.

Remember, that summer repetition also included a significant point about being able to vote.

The act is an important part of who we are as Americans and why we don’t belong to England.

On Election Day, please cast a ballot.