Editorial: Getting to know them

As important as voting itself is casting an informed vote. What’s the good of a big turnout by voters if their choices are based on cursory knowledge of the candidates and their beliefs?

With this in mind, Wilton voters should turn out for next week’s League of Women Voters’ state legislators debate. They will have few better opportunities to become informed about the choices before them in this November’s election.

The debate is Thursday, Oct. 2, from 6:30 to 8:30 in the Ridgefield Library. While there will be candidates for two Ridgefield state House seats at the event, the candidates for the 26th District seat in the State Senate —  incumbent Republican Toni Boucher and Democratic challenger Phil Scharlach — are expected to be there as well. This is the only announced debate between Ms. Boucher and Mr. Sharlach.

The league’s format allows people interested in hearing candidates’ thoughts on a particular issue to write down questions on note cards and submit them to be asked during the debate.

Although it’s a bit down the road, a debate between 4th District congressional candidates — incumbent Democrat Jim Himes and Republican challenger Dan Debicella — is planned for Sunday, Oct. 19, 4 p.m., at the Clune Center at Wilton High School.

Too often people vote based too little information — one name is more familiar than another, or they don’t know much about the candidates and go with party affiliation. Attending a live debate allows voters to judge not just candidates’ party but their positions, and can also give a sense of how the individuals seeking office think, what’s really important to them, who’s sharp and fast on their feet, who’s really on top of what’s going on in Hartford.

And, come November, that leads to informed decisions that do justice to the great privilege that Americans enjoy — voting.