Informed Opinion Necessary for Election Voting

David Ashenhurst, Oberlin resident

To the Editors:

All elections matter.

Even-year, odd-year, primary, general. Presidential, statewide and local. Issues and candidates ( for every office), every time.

All elections matter — every one — no exceptions.

Many of you are preparing to cast your ballots on three very important statewide issues; when you go to the polls on Tuesday, please stay long enough to vote in every contest about which you have an informed opinion. And if you don’t yet have informed opinions, please spend some time this weekend acquiring them.

Oberlin has 14 candidates, six incumbents and eight challengers, for seven City Council seats. (Two incumbents for Oberlin City School Board are running without opposition.) I’m one of those challenging for a City Council seat. Please consider voting for me.

There are several ways more effective than looking at yard signs for learning about the candidates. The election issue of the Oberlin News Tribune is out. The League of Women Voters of the Oberlin Area Voter Guide is circulating in print and available online. Monday’s Oberlin Community Candidates Night can be seen on the local cable channel, and I understand the questions asked there are to be posted on Oberlin Community Candidates Night’s Facebook page.

Specific responses to questions about the City’s Climate Action Plan, the use of proceeds from the Renewable Energy Certificates market, local resistance to unwanted pipelines and plans for the redevelopment of the former Green Acres site (a deep parcel fronting on the west side of Oberlin Road, all the way from Lorain Street to College Street) also appear on YouTube, on WOBC (I think) and in print in a newsletter circulated by Communities for Safe and Sustainable Energy. There are some people who don’t want many of you to vote here. Don’t make it easy for them, unless you agree. And if indeed you do agree, please ask yourself: Why is that?

You may hear some people say you should vote “back home.” Why should you, unless you’d rather? You live here! It’s a little like you have dual citizenship; just remember you’re only allowed to register and vote in one political subdivision of one state.

Don’t be talked out of voting in Oberlin because “you won’t be here” (next year or in four) because, first of all, you very well might be here. And if you’re not, your space and place are likely to be occupied by someone very much like you. You are part of the largest and most stable electoral demographic we have here.

Follow the rules. Take proper ID to the polls. Know your street address; a dorm name and room number will not be enough — matter of fact, they won’t help you at all.

Between now and Tuesday: Listen. Read. Investigate. Ask questions. Give your citizenship some exercise.

Please vote in every race and on every issue for which you have developed an informed opinion. And if you don’t have an informed opinion (and only if you don’t)? Well then, no, please don’t vote Tuesday — here or anywhere else.

David R. Ashenhurst

Oberlin resident