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Get informed about the election

By Chris A. Quilpa

I hope that by now, you eligible voters have already registered — or updated your registration address — for the Nov. 7 election. If you haven’t done so, the deadline is Monday.

Do you know for whom you will vote? The positions of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and House of Delegates members, along with Suffolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney, sheriff, commissioner of revenue and treasurer, will all be on the ballot.

How well do you know the candidates and their qualifications, and what are their positions or views in matters related to education, abortion, immigration, gun laws, poverty, economy, religious freedom, health care, peace and order, public safety, equality and justice, tax reform, marriage, environmental responsibility and other issues affecting your well being and your community?

In his Suffolk News-Herald columns on Aug. 15 and Sept. 26, Joseph Bass stated that being informed is an American responsibility.

“Having educated, informed voters is a key element for a democracy to be effective,” he wrote. “The people’s votes can result in government going the right way or the wrong way.”

He urged voters to pay attention to and investigate the qualifications of candidates, and “vote for the most qualified.”

Well, after candidates have debated, campaigning is now in full swing. Placards, with their names in bold letters, are displayed in yards and along the streets.

Campaign workers are busier than ever, making phone calls and distributing campaign materials about their candidates. They’re out there visiting house to house, convincing voters to vote for their candidates.

Political ads, notably from candidates for governor and attorney general, have been seen everywhere in social media, in print, on television and on the Internet.

These political ads are getting nasty and negative and, at times, misleading and confusing. Sometimes it seems that the more ads we’re exposed to, the harder it is to tell what is factual and truthful.

Of course, candidates have their own agenda. They do what it takes to win, even to the point of resorting to mudslinging in order to disparage their opponents.

They bombard us with negative ads that are questionable and insulting to our intelligence.

Sometimes I just don’t want to turn the television, because I don’t want to see any more of these paid political ads. I’m disappointed, disgusted and dismayed by what the candidates will do to destroy or discredit the other, just to win votes. Look what politics has become.

Voters, do your homework and research about the candidates. Find out what they have done for the common good. Get educated about them, and then decide whom you think will best lead the commonwealth and look after your well being and your community.

Focus on their track records as effective and efficient public servants who are committed to improve the economic condition, the dignity and worth of all people in the community.

Stick to the candidates who can get things done, the ones who consistently promote unity and inclusivity, peace and equality, without compromising their principles.

Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. Email him at chris.a.quilpa@gmail.com.