Surprise! It's Election Season and boy oh boy do colors start to show when candidates are running! Our area is flooded with signs for months and months with promises of turning our country around and solving all of our problems ... DAY ONE! Ha!
Each year as I get older and meet more and more candidates/politicians, I can't help but chuckle. The negative campaigning is worse each year; candidates turn to buzzwords exclusively in an attempt to win votes from uninformed voters; polls stating that fewer and fewer people believe that their elected officials represent what the voters want, more and more money being funneled through PACS (Political Action Committees) to bypass the current funding restrictions per company or person. Augh! What's most depressing about all of this, is that it's WORKING - at least from the candidates side of things anyway. The number of people that step up to get informed, ask questions, get involved is shrinking faster than a cotton shirt in the dryer and the politicians LOVE IT!
Most candidates could care less what you know or what you don't know. Most of them could even care less if you vote. They are "working" the extreme voters from each party and it is the candidates that resonate with extreme views that end up in office. They can get their core followers to vote and then bank on others to cast a vote based on party. Of course that only works during a general election. To vote during a primary election, you can't bank on just voting "R" or "D", you actually have to learn about the candidates. This of course takes effort, time and desire which is probably one of the main reasons why our primary turnouts are so embarrassingly low.
So I here I sit, with my early ballot, looking through all of the candidates that are running. I have all of the mailers and literature I've either received or picked up, my notes from meeting with most of the candidates either one on one or from forums I've attended, the Clean Elections Guide, job descriptions for each office, personal experiences, facebook group mud-slinging, some non-paritsan websites and my gut which together will help me determine who has earned my vote.
To all of you candidates out there that are sure you have my vote ... I can tell you, most likely you don't. I have watched you, listened to you and spoken with you. My opinion of many of you has changed, and unfortunately not for the better. Friendships have been lost & reputations have been muddied. Many of you have become frustrated because I have asked you questions, expected honest answers and it has rubbed you the wrong way. For that I owe no one any apology. Not all of us vote based on the color of your sign, or how often we see your name on mailers. Some of us actually want to see change, want to make a difference and are a tad bit more educated/informed than you may like.
I hope that for the sake of Arizona, Pinal County and San Tan Valley, that all registered voters inform themselves and cast their vote either on an early ballot or on election day, August 26th. Many races will be determined during the primary ... very few will actually vote - which is why MY vote and YOUR vote will matter. We have the right and the honor to shape our future.
"We the People" can do this and if we pull together, we will August 26th.