What can we do about nefarious attempts to undermine our democracy? How can we counter cyber-attacks intended to skew the facts, sow dissension and polarize voters? Only an unprecedented turnout at the polls on Election Day will demonstrate to the world that we will not succumb to underhanded attempts to destroy confidence in our democratic elections.
Here in Sussex County, Del., we can stand up and demonstrate our commitment to government by the people by taking time to find out who the candidates are and where they stand on issues that affect our everyday lives. The only way we can avoid playing into the hands of those who seek to persuade us with misinformation campaigns, personal slurs and simplistic slogans is to seek the facts and to listen to what the candidates themselves have to say.
Even as the votes we cast will influence the direction that the U.S. Congress takes on critical issues, such as health care, international trade, environmental protection, immigration and social policy, our choices of candidates on the state and county levels will directly impact our quality of life.
To make our votes really count, we need to know how each candidate is likely to vote on basic issues, such as water quality, land use, economic development, road improvements, gun violence, funding for education, drug use and abuse, and managing the budget.
The best way to get to know our local candidates is to attend candidate forums, where we can ask questions that are particularly important to us as well as gauge the candidates’ knowledge, capability and sincerity. A listing of forum locations, dates and times can be found on the League of Women Voters’ websites, VOTE411.org and sussexlwv.org.
Voters can also find and compare the candidates’ views on key issues on the nonpartisan VOTE411.org site. All candidates for state and county offices have been asked to post their answers to questions posed by the League, and their answers appear as entered.
Government by the people can only happen if we the people actually participate. We can’t afford to allow ourselves to be misguided by misinformation campaigns or to be persuaded by the catchiest slogan or the loudest voice. The League of Women Voters urges everyone to consider the issues at stake, to ask questions and insist on honest answers, and to stand up to be counted on Election Day.
Martha Redmond, President
League of Women Voters of Sussex County