Submitted by Mary Brennan, Waynesboro
I moved to Franklin County just before the COVID pandemic which limited my ability to learn much about the area, the people and politics. As a dutiful and respectful citizen, I signed up to serve at my local election precinct and ensure that I vote regularly. I choose to vote for people who I perceive can best serve the good of the people, both locally and across the nation, both for the short term and longer, both regarding matters inside the USA and from foreign actors.
To that end, I want to know backgrounds and perspectives of the candidates running for any office or which I vote. It is seriously challenging to obtain that information. In times gone by, neighborhoods and election precincts had meetings to discuss and respectfully debate issues and invite candidates to speak with us. There may still be some activity of that type ongoing (not counting single party only activities) but not to my awareness.
Beyond civic meetings (a good idea even outside of election periods), candidates would post profiles and be interviewed by local and regional news media. Another shortfall in evaluating candidates is guidance to the public on what the candidate’s desired office can affect. For example, if somebody is running for local dog-catcher, that person’s view of war and peace is not relevant. If someone is running for the U.S. senate, war and peace ideas really matter! Having come across the Franklin County Free Press, I wonder if this might be a proper vehicle to share unbiased civic information related to elections.
If voters know facts about a topic, including pros and cons according to different viewpoints, at least locally we might best achieve a healthy, thoughtful, self-governing citizenry. I would be willing to work with others to identify topics of interest, determine facts (not opinions), and give some assessments of the topic’s importance to various voters.
Cheers, my fellow citizens!
Reply from the Editor:
Mary, we are so glad that you came across the Franklin County Free Press and do our best to report only on facts and keep information as impartial as possible. With that said, we would gladly welcome citizens to submit relevant information.
Since this is a largely volunteer effort it is impossible for us to have representation everywhere, but if citizens would like to put together information like you describe and submit it to us either through the website as you did or by emailing us at email@example.com, we would gladly consider publishing it. Also, we would like to note that we do accept opinion stories from the public and clearly label them as such.