Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Looking into the Future of Clark County

The Commissioners race between Pam Brokaw and Tom Mielke now looks like this:

Brokaw: 84,099 49.88%
Mielke: 84,306 50.00%
Write-ins: 212 .13%

There will be a machine recount of the ballots, but unless the numbers change by 208 in Brokaw's favour, Mielke will be making decisions about Clark County, Washington come next year. This is a VERY disturbing prospect for those of us who care about the quality of life in our community. Mielke has an extremely poor record on land use issues and protecting the environment.

The sad truth is that many voters select candidates at this level based on whether they've heard the person's name before. Mielke served as a state representative for several years and ran (unsuccessfully) for the commission multiple times. Name recognition is key. Think I'm making this up? I'm not. I've spoken with many people who confess they know nothing about some candidates and their positions, but when faced with a blank to fill in, they feel compelled to make a choice. So they select the name they've heard - even if they know nothing about what that person is likely to do if elected. Remember in my previous post where I mentioned there were over 15,000 undervotes, where people didn't select anyone for the county commission position? Which is worse, voting for someone without knowing anything about them, or not even voting? I can't decide.

What I DO know is that voters have a responsibility to learn about the people who will be governing them. Don'tcha think so too?

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