Voters need more choices

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, February 18, 2014

With eight more business days to file to run for elected offices, there’s plenty of time for people to head to their local board of elections, file the paperwork and pay the filing fees.

Already this campaign cycle is shaping up to be one that has more than the average number of candidates seeking election or re-election. That’s good for voters. The more choices voters have — especially during the primaries — the better. More candidates to choose from during the primaries means voters have better chances to find those candidates who voters believe would best represent their interests.

Take the sheriff’s race in Beaufort County, for example. By the time the filing period ends at noon Feb. 28, there could be about five Democratic candidates and five Republicans seeking to replace Sheriff Alan Jordan. There could be one or two independent candidates seeking that office. With that many candidates in the mix, each voter should be able to find the one candidate he or she believes best represents and offers what the voter is looking for in a sheriff.

The more qualified candidates who take their messages to the streets and forums, the better for voters when it comes to making an informed choice at the ballot box.

As to the plethora of candidates this election cycle, thank you for being willing to be a public servant.

Whether you are an incumbent, a veteran candidate yet to be elected or a first-time candidate, please take your campaign to the voters. They need to know what you stand for, what vision you have for their city, county, state or nation and how you would go about accomplishing that vision. Take your message to the voters by appearing at meetings of civic groups. Let voters know what you want to do — if elected — for them by going door to door in neighborhoods in your city or town. Explain your platform by way of advertising. Hold a town hall-style meeting during which voters ask you questions and where listen to voters’ concerns.

The more voters know about you and your platform, the better your chances of getting their votes. The more you interact with voters, the better they understand why you are running for office. An educated electorate makes better choices when it comes to who will represent their interests before a city council, before a board of aldermen, before a board of commissioners or in Congress.

Think you can do a better job than an existing elected official who office is available this election cycle? You’ve got until Feb. 28 to file the paperwork and pay the filing fee to have the opportunity to prove you can do a better job.

Think about it.