Maybe it’s taken the election of George Santos to Congress to bring the message home that we need to do our homework before we cast our vote.
Although his constituents rally for his resignation and investigation into campaign finance continues, he continues to surprise us daily and his most recent move is to co-sponsor legislation to make the deadly AR-15 assault rifle the National Gun of our country. We have no one to blame but ourselves: we didn’t cast informed votes. We took the easy road.
In our busy world and bombarded with information, we’ve become a sound byte society. One of the downsides is that we miss the due diligence that plays an important role in our elections. We vote red. We vote blue. We vote without being certain of what a candidate stands for, what issues are most important to him/her and where they stand on the issues that are important to us individually. It’s time to sound the alarm and rally for debate and disclosure.
Although George Santos was not running in my congressional district, he well could have been.
I am a board member of the League of Women Voters of Huntington; we are a non-partisan organization whose mission is to promote fair elections and provide access to voter information.
Few of the candidates in our district participated in debate with the LWV or elsewhere. Very few candidates responded to an annual survey for voter information, asking all candidates the same questions that are posted under Vote411.org, a website where voters can compare their answers and make informed choices when they go to the polls.
When candidates refuse to participate, when their political party allows them to remain silent, how are we to make an informed choice?
We as voters need to put in the work. We also need to demand from our political parties that candidates are vetted and agree to participate in debates and position sharing. And if we don’t, George Santos won’t be the exception, he’ll have plenty of company.