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Editorial: When listening isn’t enough

We bring you this week coverage from several pertinent candidate forums we held last week along with the League of Women Voters of Albany County and other community partners.

First off, if you were one of the hundreds of people who showed up for one of these events, thank you. Without thoughtful questions from audience members, these debates would not have been nearly as successful as they were.

But whether you made it out or not, if you’re eligible to vote in the Thursday, Sept. 13, primary, we encourage you to read up on the races you’ll be voting in, so you can cast an intelligent and informed vote.

With redistricting and a lineup of new faces, it might not be entirely clear who you should be voting for. That’s OK—we’d suggest as a good place to start heading over to the League of Women Voters’ online voter guide at vote411.org. There, you’ll be able to punch in your address and be provided with not only the pertinent races, but answers to the League’s questionnaire from candidates who filled it out.

From there, you will of course need to decide which candidate or candidates to support. That is something that is a personal matter for every voter. Everyone has something that matters most to him or her. So we would advise voters to find out where the candidates truly stand on what matters to them, and not be swayed by the electoral machine.

Especially as any election draws near, there tends to be a seismic shift in the public dialogue from matters of substance to concerns about politicking itself. Candidates and their supporters make attacks, bend or break the truth or engage in other types of unsavory tactics in the last-minute attempt to scoop in extra votes. They do these things under the assumption the media will be too busy to track down and unravel every mistruth and that public opinion is easily manipulated by plays on emotions rather than focusing on facts.

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