One of the at-large positions for the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District was contested with three candidates. Only one had a statement in the voters' pamphlet, and it gave me little to go on. To find phone numbers for the candidates I had to call the Oregon Department of Agriculture. They had some numbers, but for two of the candidates only work numbers, and for the third it was a fax. I finally got all the numbers from the helpful folks at the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District. One of the candidates didn't have a home number.
I tracked 'em down. One candidate wouldn't tell me how she voted on M37, but said she was a supporter of property rights. Lost my vote.
The second candidate, the one with the voters' pamphlet statement, said she hadn't decided, even though the election was just a week away. She lost my vote, too.
The third candidate, Lawrence Pohl, the one without a home phone, tried twice to reach me from his mother's home after I emailed him, and we finally connected during tonight's ballgame (apparently he's not a baseball fan!). Thankfully, I learned that he has serious questions about M37 and is voting against it. He got my vote.
I shouldn't have had to work so hard to find out the phone numbers and actually reach the candidates. Voters shouldn't have to work hard to be able to talk directly to folks running for public office. But I'm sure glad I waited to learn about each candidate before. I voted. In my book, voting intelligently is more important than voting early.