You wake up, pour yourself a cup of coffee and head out to get your newspaper, the Islands’ Sounder, which you love reading in the morning. What you love less are the cards in the mailbox with local candidates’ photos, the endless letters to the editor, the signs along our rural roads and all the political confusion surrounding these multiple county council elections.
Many are bewildered by the numerous ballots and hear all sorts of things about each candidate. Didn’t we just elect candidates in November? But now there are new winners from each island. The election is still not over. More signs will go up and campaigning will continue.
The voters of San Juan County made the decision in the November 2012 election to switch from a six-person county council to a three-person council, one from each district: Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Island in a county-wide election. Three candidates from Orcas and three from San Juan stood up to take on the challenge, to spend the money and time to run for council. This also gave county voters six options to choose from, giving us a variety of candidates to consider. We were given the choice to eliminate one candidate from each pool so that in April we could choose from just two candidates.
We made a choice last Tuesday for Lovel Pratt and Bob Jarman for District 1, and Lisa Byers and Rick Hughes for District 2, to run in the general election. In April the two candidates from Lopez, Jamie Stephens and Brian McClerren, will join the other candidates for the final election to choose the three council members.
We at the Sounder urge you to think about a few things if you ever find yourself getting sick of this “never-ending” election season.
Voicing opinions in the political arena is one of the hallmarks of being an American. It should be a source of pride that our vote truly counts. While apathy in the voting booths has become a trend in recent years, we hope local citizens appreciate the right to vote and choose to weigh in on the future of San Juan County leadership.
So here’s to three more months of campaigns and three more months to truly educate yourself about these candidates and make your vote count.
And if you have questions about the voting process or the candidates, call us here at the Sounder at 376-4500 or the elections office at 376-3357 or email@example.com.