Candidates have duty to inform

To the editor:

Voting is a privilege and an obligation. Informed voting is a responsibility. The League of Women Voters of the Copper Country, in partnership with the Daily Mining Gazette, which puts together a Voter Guide to help the citizens of Houghton and Keweenaw counties to perform their duties.

We cannot do this without the cooperation of the candidates, however.

I would like to thank the 53 out of 237 candidates who responded to the Voter Guide questionnaire. The deadline to return your responses was Sept. 22. Because of the disappointingly low response, we are extending the deadline to Oct. 7. For those candidates who did not return the questionnaire, we implore you to take advantage of this extension and please return the questionnaire.

The following statistics show the distribution of the returns:

Houghton County 145 mailed, only 37 returned = 25.5 percent

Keweenaw Country 50 mailed, only 7 returned = 14 percent

Houghton & Keweenaw School Boards 41 mailed, only 8 returned = 19.5 percent

Write-Ins 1 received

Overall: 53/237 = 22.4 percent

Write in candidates are welcome to fill out a form.

All respondents should have received an email or phone call acknowledging receipt of their questionnaire. If you did not, please contact me at cclwvmi@gmail.com.

If a candidate did not receive or misplaced the questionnaire for the Voter Guide, replacement copies are available by emailing cclwvmi@gmail.com or downloading them from the League’s website, lwvccmi.org.

We hear every election cycle from your constituents that they depend on the Voter Guide to learn about their candidates, even if they are running unopposed. One unopposed candidate wrote saying it was their duty to respond. The Guide is where voters can see what issues candidates consider important and ideas for addressing them. Candidates also have an opportunity to share information on their background and qualifications.

The League of Women Voters of the Copper Country is proud of its long tradition of providing this service. As stated above, we cannot do it without the cooperation of the candidates. With email and modern tools, it’s never been easier to communicate with one another. We applaud the candidates who have put themselves forward for public service. The service to the public begins here – by responding to the Voter Guide questionnaire and putting your policies and opinions out for your constituents to see. The new deadline is Oct. 7.

Mary Marchaterre

Houghton