Tuesday, September 15th is election day and Fall River voters will have the chance to vote for:
1 Mayoral candidate
6 School Committee candidates
9 City Council candidates
I remember the first Fall River election I voted in. As I stood there in the voting booth I easily ticked off the the names of those candidates I knew I wanted to vote for, but then spent several agonizing minutes figuring out who I would give my remaining votes to.
At the time I felt that I had to use every single vote available to me, to do otherwise would be wasting a vote. But, afterwards I realized I had wasted my votes by giving them to candidates that I didn't believe in. The lesson I learned was to only vote for those people you really want to represent you.
Even then I have occasionally voted for a candidate I wasn't sold on, but because I liked them or felt they 'needed' a vote. In 2007 I voted for a handful of incumbents because I 'liked' them and have regretted it ever since as I believe these people have failed to stand up for the people of Fall River.
I'm not making that mistake in 2009. This year I am more committed than ever to only vote for candidates I WANT to see in office.
Now, I recently had a conversation with a friend who has a differing opinion. He feels that if you want to see change it's better to use all of your votes to vote for a slate of challengers. You can read his opinion on Fall River Blog.
Although we disagree on the method we both agree the best way to enact change is to vote only for challengers. Leo, Linda, Joe and the rest will get plenty of votes and will certainly make it through the primary election. Whether you decide to use your every vote or vote only for a particular few, if you want to see change you can't vote for the incumbents you have to vote only for the challengers!