Letter: Make the time to vote Nov. 7
To the Editor:
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, here in Ridgefield, we will decide who will hold seats on town boards — finance, education, Police commissioners, Assessment Appeals — and on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Not excited? In this election, you can easily meet the candidates because they’re local. Act quickly, and before deciding whom to vote for, you can see what’s entailed in the jobs the candidates seek (if you don’t already know). It’s taken me years to commit to this obligation, but recently I’ve attended some town boards’ and committees’ working sessions. I don’t yet grasp the full scope of our elected officials’ responsibilities, but I’ve come to realize that most of these folks — neighbors, really — are thoughtful public servants working on our behalf. Observing, listening to, and conversing with incumbents and candidates for this year’s contested seats has been humbling and inspiring — and a powerful antidote to the nightly news.
Still not excited? Consider this: In 2015, the last municipal election year, 32.25% of Connecticut voters (and 31.92% of Ridgefield voters) went to the polls. If you and I do our homework and vote on Nov. 7 — and urge everyone we know, everywhere in the country, to do the same — we help disprove myths about voter fraud. We turn from apathy to action. High voter turnout, starting with municipal elections, sends the message that the world’s leading democracy is functional — and that its people and their thoughtfully chosen representatives truly are the ones in control.
Plan for and make the time to vote on the seventh — at lunch break, between soccer practice and dinner, after visiting Dad. Encourage others to do the same. Need to register? There’s still time. Know a voter who can’t drive? Offer a ride to the polls. We can double municipal election turnout in 2017. And we should.