Here come the candidates

Voting is the cornerstone of participatory democracy, and few rituals are as inherently private. An axiom of casual conversation is always to sidestep the gubernatorial race and presidential politics. Fine people will vote the wrong way, we tell ourselves. And some not-so-fine people will vote the right way. For pundits, the variable is knowledge.

A “low-information” voter is the term du jour for folks who champion causes and vote for candidates with a minimal understanding of the public-policy impact. It’s a patronizing term since we’re all subject to low information. Who has time to dig into issue briefs and ask 20 questions? For Republicans and Democrats alike, it’s the touchstone for the post-election hangover: Americans are sensible, but they simply don’t know what’s good for them.

The Herald editorial board is just one voice, ideally a reliable if subjective one, among the racket of political commercials and special-interest mailers. Politicians, organizations, companies, labor unions, newspapers, and churches all attempt to influence voters. The Herald editorial board presents its judgment based on research and candidate interviews. However, it’s a recommendation, freighted with the baggage and experience of any group of professionals. Readers are encouraged to consider and/or disagree with the board’s suggestions (and express those disagreements in letters to the editor.) The Herald’s obligation is to communicate a cogent argument, outlining why a specific candidate or initiative merits voter support.

The editorial board consists of publisher David Dadisman, assistant to the editor, Kim Heltne, editorial writer, Carol MacPherson, and editorial-page editor, Peter Jackson. Editorial decisions are based on consensus, with the publisher, as grand poobah, given the final word.

The Herald will publish its first recommendation on Sept. 16 and will continue with candidate editorials through mid-October. Recommendations will include president of the United States, governor, the Legislature, state initiatives, and as many other races as feasible (the editorial board presupposes that President Obama and Gov. Romney are unlikely to attend a candidate interview, but they’re always welcome to stop by Everett to chat.) A few critical dates to keep in mind: Oct. 8 is the last day for Washington voters to register by mail or online. Ballots for the Nov. 6 General Election will be mailed on Oct. 19 (ballots for the military and overseas voters will be mailed Sept. 22.)

Lastly, voters are encouraged to hold on to their ballots as long as possible (apologies for compounding the workload of Snohomish County’s respected auditor, Carolyn Weikel.) Candidates evolve or backpedal, rise to the occasion, or crumble under the klieg lights. Patience with the election cycle, like voting itself, is a virtue.

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Sunday, Nov. 20

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Editorial: School funding half-full, half-empty, but not ample

The Supreme Court says the state’s school funding plan won’t meet its deadline. So there’s work to do.

Simoneaux: In service of science, a month among icebergs

A NOAA ship takes scientists into an Antarctic ice field, when the path out starts to close in.

Saunders: Trump not repeating mistakes he made on ACA repeal

The president is taking care not to alienate Senate Republicans before the vote on tax reform.

Milbank: Not hearing what they want to, GOP simply ignores

Nonpartisan arbiters of fact are being disregarded on tax law, health care and judicial worthiness.

Snohomish PUD hydro project will harm salmon

A Nov. 9 article in The Herald focused on declining salmon and… Continue reading

Fronier should keep lifeline payphones in service

The public telephone at the Verlot service ranger station is a service… Continue reading

Vote makes it clear: No pot shops in Snohomish

The advisory vote on Proposition 1 in Snohomish on retail marijuana sales… Continue reading

Why gut Medicaid to pay for bombs?

Donald Trump, in a fit of pique over not being able to… Continue reading

Most Read