I have been a registered voter for over 30 years and every election year, I am proud to vote for the candidate of my choice. However, this election year is unlike anything I have experienced. The lack of meeting candidates in person has changed my ability to make an informed decision. So, how do I make an informed decision without meeting the candidates, in person, safely, and without risking my health and the health of my family?
Four years ago, I was able to meet and speak with my local city council candidate while she was going door to door, and after speaking with her, I made the decision that she was worthy of my vote. During that time, she and the other local candidates were able to meet and speak with constituents by knocking on doors to introduce themselves, participating in candidate forums and being able to attend meet and greets to persuade voters why they were worthy of their vote. However, campaigning during a pandemic has forced candidates to think outside the box and come up with clever, creative ways of reaching people who live in their district.
So far, I have seen the “usual” methods of phone calls, postcard mailers, emails, and text messages, but I have also seen some candidates engage people through a variety of unusual ways. For example, Zoom is by far the most popular way to host a variety of events including “Meet the Candidate,”” BINGO with the Candidate,” and “Wine with the Candidate,” just to name a few. Candidates are also reaching people by riding in car parades, hosting curbside concerts, mailing campaign masks, helping to distribute food at food banks, and delivering N-95 masks to hospitals. I have seen a few videos highlighting candidates but the most unique idea that I have seen is called “Rock the Vote” created by a candidate in a neighboring city. This candidate’s campaign painted rocks using a variety of colors and designs, added inspirational messages on the front and with a flip of the rock, the resident could learn where to get more info about the candidate. These rocks are cleverly placed throughout neighborhoods in his district to attract attention, get name recognition and get people to see why he is worthy of their vote.
I imagine campaigning can be a difficult process, one that can be an exercise in futility as its purpose is to convince voters to have faith that they are the BEST candidate for the district they represent. Ultimately, the winning candidate is not going to make everyone happy, however, we must have confidence that the candidate who wins, will make the best decision based on input received while meeting and speaking with their constituents.
We all want to make informed decisions when voting for the “best” candidate, and now more than ever, it is important that we do. So, log into a Zoom event, attend a socially distant event and do your research, because your vote counts and it could be the one vote the makes the difference. If you do not know the candidates running for mayor, city council, supervisor, and school board, in your area, take some time to find out. I know all the candidates in my district, I have done my research and I am ready to “rock” my vote!
“Am’s View” is posted on alternate Sundays.