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Editorial: An informed electorate beats a bigger electorate

Should those who don't know the local issues get involved in local races?

With “Election Day” having now morphed into “Election Season,” we’re a little late to make this plea – and run the risk of being accused of “voter suppression” as we do – but we’re still going to say it.

We think those who are not willing to do the homework on Arlington’s local campaigns (the County Board races being the only ones seriously contested in 2023) and bring an informed perspective to the ballot box should do the broader community a favor and sit them out.

Unlike elections at the federal and maybe even state level, those in localities should not be “beauty contests” or the opportunity to prove one’s fealty to a particular political party or place on the ideological spectrum. They should be decided on real-world local issues that winning candidates will need to address during their tenure in office.

We’re not here to trample on anyone’s right to vote, we believe there is a concomitant responsibility to be informed on the races.

Self-appointed do-gooders – and we say that with affection! – who push for more and more voter participation typically fail to acknowledge that an electorate uninformed on the issues is far more problematic than a lower total number of voters. More does not necessarily equal better.

Such a perspective is hardly “voter suppression.” It’s common sense.