King County Elections wants you to be an informed voter
I couldn't help but laugh when I saw a commercial on television featuring author J.A. Jance asking voters to "keep fiction out of the elections" and not to write-in candidates such as "Mickey Mouse" and "Bigfoot" on their ballots. The purpose of the video is to urge the viewer to "be an informed voter," but advertising during the local KING 5 News program seems like an odd way to get the message out.
I am all for informed voters. But let's be realistic: when you vote for judges, how many of those votes have been "informed votes"? I have to say that it is difficult to make an informed vote -- and I am one who is very interested in the process. The average voter without as much of an interest must spend a great amount of time researching the candidates and issues to make an informed vote. Or, perhaps the just follow the pack and vote the way their friends vote. Or worse yet, they make their decision based upon yard signs and other advertising.
There must be a better way to inform voters. All too often, I search online for such resources but the ones I find are always partisan so they are of little use if one wants to make an intelligent decision. What percentage of voters actually spend the time to look up both sides of an issue and really learn the facts? I don''t know but I fear it is low.
So, here is where I make a confession to King County Elections: I am a serial fake name voter. Whenever I find a candidate running unopposed, I choose my favorite write-in candidate, J.P. Patches, may he rest in peace. I have been making this my practice for 30 years and I don't intend to stop now. Sorry King County.
The only thing worse than having uninformed voters is having candidates running for office unopposed. We only have ourselves to blame for this situation. I can't tell you how many times I have had conversations with friends where we are bemoaning the choice of candidates we have, yet few people want to step up and run for office. Too often, the people who most want to be elected are the people I least want to vote for. If only we had more real choices (no offense to GoodSpaceGuy).
We get the government we deserve, people. Spend the effort and get informed. Don't blindly follow the pack. Run for office. And continue to vote for fake people if you have no other choice. A vote for Mickey Mouse is better than an uninformed vote for a real candidate.
Let's improve voter information. Let's make running for office less about character assassinations and more about civics. Let's view running for office as a noble pursuit rather than as an egotistical grab for power. Let's have more good people to choose from on the ballot. Let's give people a reason not to vote for Mickey Mouse.