Read all about it. Then go vote!
By BRAD WARTHEN
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
AT MONDAY morning’s editorial meeting, we wearily debated how we might have done a better job on these primary elections. Should we have interviewed candidates in fewer races, opening time and space for more detail on the top contests? Did we make the best endorsements we could have? Did we give readers all the information that they need?
The answer to that last question is, “Of course not.” Resources are limited, and at best, even when our board has been as thorough as it can be in making a recommendation, ours is but one voice in a much broader conversation. Careful voters should attend thoughtfully to all of it.
My purpose in writing today is to refer you to additional resources, so you have more information available to you on this day of decision than we can fit onto one page.
Start by going to my blog on the Web. The address is at the bottom of this column. If you don’t feel like typing all that in, just Google “Brad Warthen’s Blog.” Click on the first result.
Here’s what you’ll find:
- An electronic version of this column with one-click links to all the other information in this list.
- The full texts of all of our endorsements. We don’t expect you to be swayed by the brief capsules at left; we provide this recap on election days because readers have requested it. Please read the full editorials.
- Additional notes from most of the 51 candidate interviews that helped in our decisions. Please leave comments to let me know whether you find these notes helpful; it’s a new thing for me.
- The Web sites of major candidates. These sites vary greatly in the detail they offer on issues (and in their frankness), but some can be helpful.
- Addresses for state and local election commissions.
- More links to last-minute news reports. The State’s news division is entirely separate from the editorial department, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help you find the news — including the Voter’s Guide from Sunday’s paper.
- Recent columns, including an unpublished piece from teacher and former community columnist Sally Huguley, explaining why teachers should vote in the Republican primary.
- Various explanations I’ve given in the past for why we do endorsements, and what our track record has been with them.
- Much, much more — from the silly to the (I hope) profound.
Please check it out, and leave comments. I want to know what you think — so would others — about the election, about our endorsements, about the blog itself. There were 138 comments left there on one day last week. I’d like to see that record broken. Broaden the conversation beyond the usual suspects (no offense to my regulars; I just want more, and you know you do, too).
And then, go vote your conscience. Please. A number of observers have said voter interest is low this time around. It shouldn’t be. This election could help determine whether South Carolina does what it needs to do to improve public schools — and therefore improve the future for all of us — or gives up on the idea of universal education.
I’m not just talking about the governor or superintendent of education contests. As we’ve written in detail (which you can read again on the Web), there are well-funded groups from out of state trying to stack our Legislature so that it does what they want it to do from now on. Don’t stand back and watch that happen. Exercise your birthright. Vote.
Finally, after the votes are counted, be sure to tune in to ETV from 10 to 11 p.m. I’ll offer live commentary off and on (it won’t be just me for that whole hour, so you’re safe). You young people, ask your parents to let you stay up late. If you’re big enough to be reading the editorial page, you deserve it. You older folks, try to get a nap in the evening and rest up — after you’ve voted.
Here’s the address: http://blogs.thestate.com/bradwarthensblog/.