This coming Tuesday, Nov. 8, is Election Day.
Although there is a choice among candidates for most offices on the ballot, the biggest obstacles to a successful electoral process for all candidates and for society are indifference, disengagement, and apathy. For some people the number of elections seems overwhelming: State Senate, House of Delegates, Chairman of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, local Fairfax County Supervisor, School Board local member and three at-large members, Commonwealth Attorney, Sheriff, members of the Soil and Water Conservation District, and a school bond question.
Voter guides printed in local newspapers and online can help. A Democratic voter guide can be found at www.fairfaxdemocrats.org. For a sample ballot, go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/eb, click on Upcoming Elections at left, and scroll down to your magisterial district for a map of your precinct and the applicable sample ballot. Scrolling further down, this site also provides a view of the actual voting machine or optical scan document you will use.
Some people translate their frustrations with the antics going on in the U.S.
Congress to state and local government. There is no comparison; there is a sharp contrast in performance and behavior.
The Commonwealth of Virginia and the County of Fairfax pass their budgets each year without delays, filibusters, or continuing resolution. State and local budgets are balanced, and both Virginia and Fairfax County have triple-A bond ratings. Some may argue that state and local officials deserve a vote of confidence for the responsible way they get the business of government accomplished.
The challenges facing state and local governments in the next several years are
enormous. Adequately funding our schools, ensuring there are enough seats in our colleges and universities for our children and grandchildren, and rebuilding and expanding the crumbling transportation system are a few of those challenges. People who want to have a voice and who can offer solutions must overcome apathy and indifference to be needed contributors.
As a reader of this column, I suspect you are also a consistent voter. Please say to your family members, neighbors, and colleagues that voting is an important right – exercise it.
Persons needing to find their polling place should go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/eb, click on Where Do I Find My Polling Place?, enter your address, and view the location where you vote. If you are going to be away on Election Day, you can still vote in person today, Thursday, and Friday, Nov. 2-4, at the North County Governmental Center, 12000 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston, from 2:30 to 7:00 p.m., and this Saturday, November 5, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
See you at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8.