How Can We Decide?

I received my ballot for the November 8 election in the mail yesterday, and it will soon be time to complete it and return it. Among the items included on the ballot is the selection of a new county sheriff.

On what basis should I decide between the candidates? There are two local law enforcement-related issues that come to mind.

The first issue is how does law enforcement interact with the population of homeless persons? This is primarily an issue for local city police departments since homeless persons tend to congregate in cities rather than the rural areas that the sheriff's office is responsible for. However, the voters are also in the cities so candidates must base their appeals to voters on issues that city-dwelling voters care about. In the local discussions regarding homelessness drug use and addiction is a prominent topic. Both candidates claim they will be tough on crime, especially mentioning drug dealers.

The second issue is related to enforcement of gun laws. Three years ago the state legislature passed new laws restricting sales and use of certain firearms. Several sheriffs declared they would not enforce the new laws. As a voter trying to decide which candidate to select I'm wondering what their thinking is about this issue.

Sadly, neither candidate mentions the issue directly, but both proclaim their support of the personal right to keep and bear arms:

I strongly support the 2nd Amendment and your lawful right to keep and bear arms. --

I am a firm supporter of the Second Amendment and believe it’s the right of the people to keep and bear Arms and those rights shall not be infringed on. --

The office of Sheriff is a non-partisan elected position and none of their campaign materials specifically mention any link to either of the major political parties, so I can't even use that as a tool to help me decide which candidate's values and priorities are most likely to align with my own. The merest hint is provided by the observation that one of the candidate's yard signs appear most frequently in the same location as local Republican candidates for other offices, and the other sheriff candidate's signs appear more frequently among signs for Democratic candidates.

Is our new sheriff likely to be tough on crime by diligently enforcing the gun laws? Who can tell?

📅 c: 2022-10-20 10:21 ✏️ e:

🏷 tags: #election #voting #information #deficit


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