Editorial: Wading through election coverage | AspenTimes.com

Editorial: Wading through election coverage

By now, you've probably heard and seen all of the nasty political ads. You've heard that Sen. Mark Udall is a hypocrite, and that Rep. Cory Gardner hates women. You've seen commercials dubbing Gov. John Hickenlooper as an indecisive leader or his Republican challenger Bob Beauprez as too conservative.

Locally, you may have heard some name-calling in the state Senate District 5 race after third-party candidate and Aspenite Lee Mulcahy called out Democrat Kerry Donovan and Republican Don Suppes for leaving him out of a debate last month. Mulcahy wants a redo, to which Suppes is willing but Donovan hasn't accepted.

The local letter-writing campaigns also have begun for Pitkin County commissioner candidates Patti Clapper and Rob Ittner, Snowmass Village mayoral candidates Jason Haber, Arnie Mordkin and Markey Butler, and the village's Town Council candidates Bill Boineau, Bill Madsen and Bob Sirkus.

Pitkin County has sent out its 2014 election-information pamphlet, and Colorado's 2014 State Ballot Information Booklet also has likely arrived in your mailbox. Pitkin County mail-in ballots are scheduled to hit the mail next week.

So whom should you vote for, and when? Here's how we view the process and how we'll cover it at The Aspen Times:

Our election coverage begins next week with four interviews with Clapper and Ittner. From there, we'll move on to the Snowmass Village elections for council and mayor, followed by the local ballot initiatives for the city of Aspen, town of Basalt and Aspen Ambulance District. And toward the end of October, we'll cover the U.S. House and Senate races, the gubernatorial race and our Pitkin County statewide districts in the Senate (District 5) and House (District 61).

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You'll likely see some election features throughout the month covering the larger issues as well as campaign finance, and then we'll recap everything for readers a day or two before the Nov. 4 Election Day.

Midmonth, our editorial board will begin writing endorsements for the candidates we see fit to serve the constituents in our valley. We'll endorse the state and federal government candidates first, followed by local races and ballot issues. Those local endorsements won't come until the end of October, because in our view, it's important to wait until the end of the election cycle before rushing to cast your vote.

We've all seen the mishaps and missteps that political candidates can face as they enter the home stretch. How would you feel if you voted for a guy who two weeks later ends up in jail for a crime, petty or otherwise?

In the meantime, do your homework this election season. Follow our coverage, and try to decipher truths from lies in the political attack ads on TV and the radio. Figure out which issues one party attacks the other for, and determine if they're valid. Fact check, what you hear — don't just believe the slant.

Visit http://www.pitkinvotes.org if you want to see a sample ballot or check your voter registration status. If you're not registered, you can do that up until Nov. 4 through various methods.

And while early voting and mail-in ballots are conveniences of the voting process, we believe homework needs to be done right up until the end. These elected officials will head to Washington, Denver and our local municipalities to represent our interests. That's why we're doing our homework first before heading to the polls Nov. 4.