I recently received my sample ballot in the mail for our upcoming municipal primary election. I live in Ward 6 and this year we have 10 candidates for Las Vegas City Council. Incredible.
In an attempt to make sense of so many choices, I looked up each candidate’s form filed with the Clark County Election Department. There wasn’t much information there. But I did notice that seven of the 10 people who want to represent me included their home addresses.
I decided that the fastest way for me to understand how closely my own concerns aligned with the candidates was to send them a letter with simple questions reflecting those concerns. I kept it to seven questions and included a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Two questionnaires were returned to me. Two.
I think that this response is reflective of what politics has become. The majority of citizens who pursue “public service” in our communities think of the positions they seek as more of an opportunity to become a salesman for those they know will back them continuously, and not as a chance to truly serve the whole community. If someone running for office doesn’t have an opportunity to “spin” where they stand on the most basic issues, they ignore their constituents.
I don’t have time for researching every candidate’s internet site. I don’t have time to attend pasta dinners. I don’t have time to do background checks to find out where they really stand or even who they are. I feel cheated. I feel like I am trying to do my best to vote with intelligence, but the system just doesn’t allow it.
My choice has been whittled down to the two candidates who took the time to put seven marks on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope and mail it. Those two were Joel Jarvis and Adam Christian.