Time to research and vote!

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Recently, I was having a discussion with an acquaintance who does not vote. They justify by saying that “all politicians are corrupt,” and “they do not care about us,” and of course the ever popular “it doesn’t matter anyway.” 

I am a “live and let live” person if the behavior does not affect me, (like what a person does in the privacy of their own home, so long as they are not harming anyone, is their business). So, if you don’t vote then don’t. But I do need to clarify a couple of things for my acquaintance and for others who may feel the same way. First, it does matter. And second, please do not associate the behavior of national figures to everyone, especially those who are running to serve on the local level. I learned firsthand when I ran for state rep as a Republican back in 2020 as well as when I campaigned for other Republicans that a lot of what was happening nationally was put on us. For example, people associated us with Trump because we were Republican. (I’m not offering an opinion of our former president but am rather giving an example). 

My point is that when people run for local office, it is generally to serve their community. Of course, you do have people who have ulterior motives or who want power, but we should not judge the lot based on a few. Elections are too important. 

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Tim Baines gets a bear hug from his dad, former Mayor Bob Baines, as they waited for the final results of the Ward 3 election. Baines retained the win and will be the new Ward 3 Alderman. Photo/Carol Robidoux

So, I ask three things of those who are of legal voting age:

  1. Vote, because it does matter! (An example is that former Manchester Alderman Tim Baines won his aldermanic seat back in 2017 by 6 votes…yes, 6!
  2. Be informed…do your research. People who run for public office often rely on things like party loyalty, name recognition, and repetition, (the more times one sees a name – such on a sign – the more likely they will remember it. [That’s why we see multiple signs in high traffic areas, which annoys my wife because signs are expensive]). We also often have what is known as “paper candidates,” (a strategic move when people file to run only to siphon votes from a candidate on “the other side.”). So do not only look at signs or mailers, don’t only go by what you see on TV or hear on the radio, and don’t base your opinion on ads run by third parties. These are all often one-sided and frankly the media cannot always be trusted, (this coming from a person who writes for a paper). Use multiple sources. It is extremely easy to look-up voting records so do so for the issues that you care about. 

VOTE Button 22 AUG 22Not all people are trying to fool you, many are just trying to get their point across. But voting for someone based on anything other than knowledge is risky. Is your future or that of your children worth the risk? 

I understand that most of us are busy and researching candidates is not something that we can spend a lot of time on. This is true, but the people that we choose make the decisions that affect our lives, even on the local level. Elected officials spend our money, set policy for and fund our public schools, budget money for such things as public safety and assistance programs, write laws that protect our children, and determine tax rates, (which effects rental rates), among the many other things that they do that affect our lives. 

The New Hampshire State Primary is 22 days from today, (September 13th). Time to do some research!


 

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About this Author

Brian Chicoine

Brian Chicoine is a New Hampshire native who moved to Manchester from Raymond in 1980. While a student at Notre Dame College here in Manchester, Brian transferred to Rhode Island College in Providence, where he met his now wife, Jackie. Brian and Jackie spent the next 20 years living in Providence and Manchester, returning to Manchester with their two sons, (who are proud Manchester natives), in the fall of 2017. He and his family intend on staying in Manchester and are committed to helping make it an even better place to live, work, and play.