Being Real about Knowing Candidates and Ballots in Local Elections

Today marked the first time that I officially voted on a Compton ballot.

I had no idea who any of the people were.

Micah Ali, Skyy Fisher, Arturo Frazier...

Rang no bells for me unless I'd just passed a formerly vacant fenced off brownspace full of fliers.   

At stake were/are three seats on the school board, which we will find out the next day.

The only ways I've learned about these people:

1)  Posters on vacant empty spaces
2)  Physical mailers

And even then, I could only recognize names and symbols.  I couldn't differentiate between any of them.

Even worse, I didn't even know what measures were on the ballot.

I was planning for information from the iPhone to do that --- it couldn't help me differentiate candidates on the spot, but it did help to see a PDF online of a plain English breakdown.

As I made my way to Laurel School Elementary, I ran into a Spanish-speaking woman who also was searching for the polls.  I tried with Spanglish to communicate with her and figured out that she most definitely not want Micah Ali and was rabidly against Measure S.  She also recommended voting Richard Alatorre.

I had been "considering" Micah Ali for one of the seats and had no idea what Measure S was.

When It Came Down to Marking the Ballot

To my surprise, there were only two items in this election cycle:  choosing three school board members and Measure S.

The only information we are given about each of the candidates is their name and profession.

Given that information, and without days of thoroughly researching each candidate, the only thing I was sure about was that I was probably not going to vote in Micah Ali nor Skyy Fisher. 

I looked at the names and their professions.  It appears that I chose people that seemed closest and relatable to what I consider trustworthy.

Hmm...Professor and Instructor, Lizette Arevalo was my first choice, though I don't remember seeing her name anywhere.

Then I saw something about UC Irvine, and being super-involved in lots of community work --- Denzell Perry became my 2nd choice.

Then I remember seeing Arturo Frazier's poster somewhere.  I guess I just really liked his name and the multi-culturality it seemed to represent of the area.  Arturo.  Frazier.

Yea.  That's how I chose my three candidates for Compton School Board 2015.

After the lady approached me and we had our little conversation, Measure S was a slam dunk no for me, given that I've already began complaining about property taxes.  It's quite the switch of a position for me, because typically I'd like to think prioritizing schools especially the upgrade of a school like Compton High school is important, but paying an extra $100 a year on property taxes is a non-starter.

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