Platts: The Home Stretch
It took a long time for me to get there. I’ve been glued to most forms of media, from national to local, since this election season began (which I believe was about two years ago at this point). But, last week, after finishing a newsletter that was more than 6,000 words and linked over 50 articles, I reached my breaking point. I finally had election season fatigue.
That night, I went home, attempted to watch the latest on CNN and had to physically stop myself from throwing the remote at the screen. I was at my breaking point, so I promptly put myself to bed. It was 8:30 on a Friday night.
Even if you do not consider yourself political, these elections have been extremely difficult to ignore. I’m not simply talking about the presidential race, I’m talking about everything else. Coloradans have nine issues on the ballot this election, not including the questions about retaining judges or the senate race. On a local level (extending the entire valley) we have races for mayor and town council candidates, district attorneys and county commissioners. Not to mention several tax extension questions and ballot issues that would implement new taxes. The list goes on and on.
In an attempt to simplify all of the information, I made that detailed newsletter for work at Aspen Public Radio. It took me about two weeks to research everything, and find a way to make sense of it all, for myself, and those who would read it. I learned about property tax and what a real estate transfer tax means. I immersed myself in the ins and outs of open space and trails programs in the valley. And I spent an impossible amount of time learning about broadband rights.
After taking a couple of days away from the news, I feel refreshed writing these words. I’ve done the research. Now, I’m ready to go in and complete my civic duty, and then wear the “I just voted” sticker around all day and feel way too proud of myself for it. I share this story in my column not because I care to sway you one way or another on a certain issue. My main reason, besides that it’s the only thing I’ve been able to think about for weeks now, is to highlight how important it is that we are all informed, aware and educated on the issues on our ballot. The proposals, amendments and questions are often very hard to make sense of, but luckily there are many resources to help along the way. Go to colorado.gov to view the Colorado state ballot information booklet. This gives descriptions and pros and cons of all the statewide issues. Confused on which judges you should vote to retain? You’re not alone. The website http://www.coloradojudicialperformance.gov gives you descriptions of any judge you search for. Unsure of what all of our locals issues are about? Luckily, your media outlets from Aspen to Glenwood have been working hard to explain these decisions. Search for an issue online and you will find everything from profiles on candidates to letters to the editor on certain tax issues.
As of the day this issue goes to print, we will have five days to get our votes in. Some of you have probably already sent in your ballot (if you haven’t, make sure to drop it off this close to election day). Others have gone to the Aspen Jewish Community Center or the El Jebel Community Center to vote in person. If you have not done so yet and are wondering where to go, visit your county’s clerk and recorder website. In Pitkin, it’s http://www.pitkinvotes.org. In Eagle, it’s http://www.eaglecounty.us. And in Garfield, it’s http://www.garfield-county.com. Make sure to call the elections office in your county if you have questions.
That’s all I’ve got for you this time. Good luck on your decisions and happy voting!
If you would like to read the elections newsletter that Barbara and the rest of the Aspen Public Radio team worked tirelessly on, email her at email@example.com and she will get you a copy .
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