Opinion

Get informed before you vote

Ballots should be in North Whidbey mailboxes today or tomorrow for the earliest primary election in Oak Harbor, Coupeville, and the entire state’s modern history.

“Election day” is officially Aug. 21, which is the last day to drop off or postmark a ballot in this all-mail election. While many lament the end of the era of meeting friends in the neighborhood polling place, elections in whatever form continue to be the backbone of the American experiment in democracy. Only elections put the fear of the people into incumbents and give hope to those who feel their views have been ignored.

The constant in all the electoral changes in recent years is the need for voters to be informed. To date, Oak Harbor candidates for mayor, city council and school board have spent their summer days working hard by door-belling, driving in yard signs, paying the printer for literature and attending candidates nights. All should be commended for offering their services to the public.

The Whidbey Island League of Women Voters, as always, is doing its part to educate the voting public with its Candidates Night set for Thursday, Aug. 2, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Oak Harbor School District Administration Office, 350 S. Oak Harbor St. This primary forum features candidates for mayor, Paul Brewer, Sue Karahalios and Jim Slowik; Oak Harbor City Council Position 2, Jim Palmer, Bob Morrison and Clairann Haney; and Oak Harbor School Board Position 2, Frank Pulu, David Sherman and Bill Burnett.

If you can’t attend, listen to it live on KWBD radio, 1110 on your AM dial. Host Rick Bell always does a good job feeding questions to the candidates and keeping the answers relevant. And for print interviews, check out the Whidbey News-Times’ stories online at www.whidbeynewstimes.com.

Part of voting is being informed. Be sure you are before licking the envelop and mailing your ballot back to the Island County Auditor’s Office.

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