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THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO

Lots of resources available to get informed for local election

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Early voting began for local elections on Oct. 5.

As you prepare to vote, you need reliable information to determine which candidates best represent your values. This involves investigating a variety of diverse sources of media (broadcasting, publishing and the Internet).

In choosing media to review, ask the following questions:

  1. Who created the message and what is the purpose?
  2. What techniques and images were used to attract your attention or manipulate emotions?
  3. How might other people understand or interpret the message differently from you?
  4. Are there relevant issues, values or points of view included or omitted from the message?
  5. Who makes money from the message?
  6. Why was the message sent?

Public radio and television are generally reliable sources of information. The League of Women Voters of Southern New Mexico (LWVSNM) has partnered with KRWG TV and Fred Martino to broadcast candidate forums for Las Cruces City Council and school board elections. If you do an internet search for KRWG Election 2021, you will find the recorded forums. The league supports using forums over debates, so that candidates can share their own values and positions on issues. Debates often encourage disputes, which may be less informative of the candidates’ positions.  

Please subscribe to our local newspapers, as they are reliable sources of information as well. The LWVSNM published its Voters Guide in English with the Oct. 8 edition of the Las Cruces Bulletin and in Spanish with Camino Real Media about the same time. Additional copies may be found at the Branigan Library, 200 E. Picacho Ave. and other locations in the city and county.

Technology influences our democracy, civil discourse, voter/election information and political participation. There are people who rely strictly on social media for news, while others view social media as broken and in need of change. It is evident that there are advantages and disadvantages to the Internet and social media. An advantage is that reliable voter information can be obtained, if users ask questions and think critically about the ideas found. A disadvantage is the ease of spreading disinformation and false information intended to mislead about the integrity of elections and about the positions of candidates. Cyberbullying is easy to do on social media and should be reported to the social media company. Report all voter intimidation to the DAC Clerk and/or secretary of state.

For reliable information, please go to www.VOTE411.org for the LWVSNM Voters Guide and other election information. Also, check out www.nmvote.org, www.dacelections.com and https://www.facebook.com/LWVSNM/. The leaders we elect make decisions that affect our daily lives, therefore educating ourselves prior to voting is worth the effort.

Kathy Brook and Eileen VanWie are co-presidents of the League of Women Voters of Southern New Mexico.