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Monday, September 26, 2011

Good for the Times - Good for Voters

The Times has a concise editorial about why this policy of not updating candidate endorsements after the primary stinks.  It is to their credit to see this as old-school thinking in a modern digital age.    The issue:

Primary winners used to add updated information, including post-primary endorsements, for publication in the general election voters' guide.


But now information from the primary will carry forward to the general election. Voters' guide statements for city of Seattle candidates are filed with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission and are not affected by the change. But other key races, including the Port of Seattle, Metropolitan King County Council and the Seattle School Board are impacted by the new approach.
 
Voters do not need fewer educational resources. They need more.

Harmed the most by the change are challengers who already compete against better-known incumbents for voter attention.

Their best reasoning is the one I find mind-boggling - contact information can be updated for any candidate.  Why not endorsements as long as you are in there?  That's new information (no fluffing up of statements, just factual info) that might indeed make a difference. 

5 comments:

joanna said...

I so agree that it doesn't make sense and is to the detriment of providing good information.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that translation was an issue. Contact info doesn't need to be translated, so it is quick to replace, but the candidate statement needs to be translated to all the languages that the voters guide is available in and this takes too long. This is also why video voters guide can be updated - that doesn't need to be translated. I don't know if that's sufficient justification for the decision not to allow updating, but it's something at least.

Anonymous said...

If the issue really is translations, then that is disturbing. Having this info in multiple languages is a fine idea, but it can't come at the expense of having up-to-date information.

If "translation" is the blocking issue, that is the tail wagging the dog.

- LeschiGuy

mirmac1 said...

reposting in case of deletion. Remember to post a pseudonym

I have heard that translation was an issue. Contact info doesn't need to be translated, so it is quick to replace, but the candidate statement needs to be translated to all the languages that the voters guide is available in and this takes too long. This is also why video voters guide can be updated - that doesn't need to be translated. I don't know if that's sufficient justification for the decision not to allow updating, but it's something at least.

WV: baarf

Maureen said...

If updated endorsements can't be included then they should erase all endorsements for all candidates.