October 8, 2013

Editorial: Get to know local candidates


---- — People in the North Country have many avenues to get informed before Election Day. All they have to do is make the effort.

No one has to walk into the voting booth and start guessing at who might do a good job. You have media reports, forums, debates, letters, brochures, candidate visits, websites and other means to find out how the people running in your area feel about important issues.

Thanks to a tremendous web effort by Plattsburgh Area League of Women Voters member Suzy Johnson, people in Clinton and Essex counties now have access to, a website packed with election and candidate information.

The website, like the league itself, is non-partisan, so you know the listings are not biased. The site provides listings of about 270 candidates for around 140 races in those two counties. The Boards of Election were instrumental in providing data to Johnson as she set up the local tie-ins to the national site, so hats off to them for taking the time to participate.

You can find out exactly what will be listed on the ballot you will see on Election Day. Just go to and fill in your name and address. Then click “Get personalized info,” then “Find my information” and then “Go to my races.”

You will see the ballot propositions that you will encounter on vote day. By clicking “All my races,” you can find a list of candidates — the same ones you will encounter on Election Day.

Candidates were invited to provide photos, biographical information and other data, and many of them have responded.

You can also find out about absentee ballots, election dates, ID requirements, military and overseas voting, polling-place locations, registration deadlines, voter qualifications, registration and more.

You can also find Vote 411 through the league’s website:

If the candidates haven’t stopped at your door to discuss issues, you can see them in person at a number of upcoming events, including a forum at 6:30 tonight sponsored by Champlain Valley Business and Professional Women’s Club at American Legion Post 20 in Plattsburgh; the Plattsburgh Mayoral Forum, sponsored by Vision2Action at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22 in Krinovitz Hall, SUNY Plattsburgh; and league events at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at Westport Town Hall, Oct. 24 at Essex Town Hall and Oct. 29 at Jay Town Hall.

From now through the elections, the Press-Republican will carry many stories on candidates and issues, and on Saturday, Nov. 2, we will have publish a special edition profiling the candidates in major, contested races in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties.

So the means is readily available to become an informed voter before you pull that lever on Tuesday, Nov. 5.