Ballots are coming; it's time to vote
October 15, 2020
And so we've arrived at the point in the 2020 election season when Washington voters receive their mail-in ballots.
The adoption of vote-by-mail has changed the dynamics of elections; although election day is Nov. 3, two weeks away, this will be the time campaigns peak. With all the interest in the presidential election and national controversy around mail-in ballots, people will most likely be marking their ballots almost as soon as they receive them.
I know I will.
And as The Eagle still counts as a worthwhile media in this digital age, we carry a good number of advertisements from candidates seeking your votes. Lots of ads means lots of pages. We'll fill them with as much election news as possible.
When I first started in the newspaper trade so many years ago, the word for weeklies was to focus on the local community or service area. Later, we had readers ask for state wide and even national news, and we had people tell us that we were the only newspaper they read. Since then, we've tried to include what statewide or national news we can, based on available space. We've relied on reports from the Associated Press, a most reliable service, for that news. This week's edition will continue that effort.
Also, we've had plenty of letters to the editor expressing election thoughts. We'll end those next week in an effort for fairness; rebuttals, if needed, come in the Oct. 29 edition, but no new allegations.
And for what it's worth, here are some of my thoughts on the election.
Wahkiakum County commissioners
I'll probably retire before Dan Cothren, in his 20th year as a commissioner. I'll probably put an X by his name in acknowledgement of his tireless work to expand the county government's timber base. It's an effort taking place at the state level, and he works well with our legislators and bureaucracies.
Flip a coin in the other race: Does anybody work harder as commissioner than Mike Backman? But is he more effective than Lee Tischer would be? Tischer has a wide variety of experience and community involvement, and I think he would do a great job for the county.
Legislative District 19 and the state
Why would Wahkiakum County voters replace Sen. Dean Takko and Rep. Brian Blake? Both are members of the majority party; both are chairs of committees important to our rural economy, and both express our rural values well.
One theme heard so often is that the urbanites from King County are destroying our way of life. This kind of talk, to my way of thinking, borders on hate speech. It's true that urban and rural areas have varied needs, and Takko and Blake are in positions to make sure rural issues get respect.
Republican Jim Walsh will probably steam through to re-election, but I prefer the values of Democrat challenger Marianna Everson. A nurse, she sees the value of public health efforts to control covid-9; Walsh was one who protested the governor's efforts.
People sometimes speak of the ship of state, and the governor is the captain. I like that analogy. Having visited two submarines, I have tremendous respect for the teamwork needed to run a complicated organization. Jay Inslee has that experience at the state and the national levels; why would we want to have a governor with the lack of experience at the state level that Loren Culp has? Madness.
I'll also vote for Referendum Measure No. 90, which, according to the voter's guide, "would require school districts to adopt or develop, consistent with state standards, comprehensive age-appropriate sexual health education, as defined, for all students, and excuse students if their parents request." As we've previously reported, the legislation was carefully crafted, respects parents' rights, and will teach children valuable skills.
There's a lot more on the ballot; it's time to do homework. In case you didn't get a voters guide in the mail, you can access it online at https://voter.votewa.gov/genericvoterguide.aspx?e=866&c=99#/.
Quickly said, I prefer Carolyn Long over incumbent Jamie Herrera Buetler for Congress. I think Long has the potential to be an outstanding representative.
And then speaking of ships of state, what about our presidential election?
Donald Trump came into office four years ago as an outsider going to clean out the swamp. He had no experience, and the ship of state is crashing on the rocks with him at the helm. Where to start? I guess just a coup numbers: Four and 22: The US has one fourth of the world's population and 20-22 percent of the covid-19 casualties. His administration's response to the covid-19 pandemic has been abominable; only in World War II and the Civil War have more Americans lost their lives, and the 215,000 American covid-19 deaths have come in less than a year.
Vice-president Joe Biden has been at the helm and can get us back on course.