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There are plenty of ways to find out about candidates

October 22, 2006|by LIZ THOMPSON

Running in an election is hard work.

Candidates are constantly on the go, trying to attend countless events and respond to numerous requests for information.

How they balance their lives during an election season is, frankly, beyond me. I think their families must bear the brunt of it, but it seems to me that all aspects of a candidate's life are directly affected by an election.

For our part - and we're just trying to cover them - elections are hard work.

The Herald-Mail has invested a lot of reporter time and newspaper space to let our readers know who the candidates are and where they stand on the issues.

Voting in an election is a lot less work, but it still takes a little effort.

The fact is, voters need to be informed when they go to the polls, and that means voters need to make the effort to understand the issues and the people who are running.

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And in this election season, there have been plenty of opportunities for voters to learn.

The Herald-Mail co-sponsored two candidates' forums before the primary election in September. The newspaper also was a co-sponsor of two candidates' forums last week.

Co-sponsors for those forums were Hagerstown Community College, the League of Women Voters of Washington County and Antietam Cable Television.

About 200 people attended the forums held Wednesday and Thursday at HCC's Kepler Theater. We believe hundreds of other people watched the forums live on Antietam Cable or will watch them when they are rebroadcast later this month.

By no means were these forums the only chance voters had to learn about the issues.

The Hagerstown-Washington Chamber of Commerce has hosted some candidates' forums, and will host others before the election. A number of PTA-sponsored forums have focused on the Washington County Board of Education race.

Associations and special interest groups also are gathering candidate information and sharing that with their memberships.

Incumbents say they have never received so many questionnaires in an election season.

A questionnaire from The Herald-Mail was among those that some candidates received. Our Voters Guide - based on the candidates' responses to that questionnaire - will be published Sunday, Oct. 29, and includes information about the candidates running in Washington County for county commissioners, sheriff, board of education and two contested House of Delegates seats.

To my mind, there is simply no excuse not to vote. And there is no excuse to make it an uninformed vote.

The information about the candidates and their positions is certainly available.

But, just in case you have no idea who the candidates are or what they stand for, here are the rebroadcast dates for the candidates' forum held last week:

· Candidates for Washington County Commissioners, state's attorney and sheriff participated in Wednesday's forum. It will be rebroadcast on Antietam Cable Channel 19 on Monday at 8 p.m.

· Candidates for Washington County Board of Education and Maryland House of Delegates subdistricts 1C and 2C participated in Thursday's forum. That forum will be rebroadcast on Wednesday and Friday, at 8 p.m. both nights, on Channel 19.

· Both forums will run back-to-back on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. on Channel 19.

The forums also are available on podcasts at antpod.com.

Watch. Listen. Learn. Vote.




Liz Thompson is city editor of The Herald-Mail. She may be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7682, or by e-mail at lizt@herald-mail.com.

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