Local elections matter

Organization hosts events to encourage Golden residents to vote

Posted 10/12/17

Even though it's not a presidential race, or the governor, state senators or house representatives, people still need to vote in this upcoming election.

Especially in Golden, said Judy Denison, organizer of Golden Votes, a volunteer-run, …

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Local elections matter

Organization hosts events to encourage Golden residents to vote

Posted

Even though it's not a presidential race, or the governor, state senators or house representatives, people still need to vote in this upcoming election.

Especially in Golden, said Judy Denison, organizer of Golden Votes, a volunteer-run, nonpartisan group formed in 2015.

Locally, there's school board, the solar garden and nine city council candidates for four wards on the ballot this year, Denison added.

“This is an off year, but it's still important,” she said.

And to encourage Golden residents to vote this November, Golden Votes is organizing a couple of free, community events to accomplish its purpose of increasing voter turnout and registration.

The first event is the March to the Ballot Box on Oct. 21, and the second event is a film festival on Oct. 29.

March to the Ballot Box

The March to the Ballot Box event begins at 1 p.m. at the Golden Library and culminates with a march to city hall to drop off voter ballots.

A lot of family-friendly activities are planned for the afternoon, including musical performances by Jeff Butler and Billy Baldwin, and the Girl Scouts.

At 1:15 p.m., school board candidates will each have an opportunity to present. All four — two incumbents and two challengers — have been invited, Denison said.

“The school board election is extremely important because it affects the education that your children get,” Denison said, thus “the future of the country.”

At 1:45 p.m., Golden city council candidates will speak. Each will have three minutes, and all nine have confirmed attendance. Then, at 2:30 p.m., Jordan Beezley, chair of Golden's Community Sustainability Advisory Board, will inform attendees on the community solar garden ballot issue.

Attendees will have opportunities to have follow-up conversation with all candidates.

“It always helps to be able to interact with the actual candidates,” said LouAnne Dale, a member of the League of Women Voters of Jefferson County, which is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government.

The league will also be available to help anybody register to vote or update voter registration, Dale said, or simply answer any questions voters may have.

“The League of Women Voters has always been focused on encouraging people to vote and take responsibility for choosing the person who most closely represents their values,” Dale said.

While adults are participating in the events outside of the library, children will have their own activities going on inside the library.

“The earlier children find out that their voice matters, the more likely they are to become involved citizens,” said Nannette Johnson, the event's children's activities coordinator. “Children also have a role to play in the community, and the younger they learn about being a part of the community, the better.”

Children's activities will begin with an interactive discussion on what they know about voting and what it means to be a voter. The discussion will not revolve around individual candidates in the upcoming election.

Children will also learn to register to vote by filling out a simple form asking their first name, birth month and city. They will then receive their own ballot asking community-based questions, such as favorite park in Golden, for example.

Coloring books and cupcakes from Gold Mine cupcakes will be provided.

The March to the Ballot Box will begin at 3 p.m. It will be led by Christina DeMink as the Statue of Liberty and bagpiper Tripp Bishop. Children will have a special ballot box for their ballots at city hall.

Attendees are encouraged to get in the spirit by wearing patriotic clothing or historical costumes, or red, white and blue outfits. However, candidate and ballot issue signs should not be brought to the event.

Film festival

The film festival, which is cosponsored by Golden Votes, the Golden Library and GoldenToday.com, takes place from noon to 5 p.m. at the Golden Library.

Two films will be shown. The first is “Bob Roberts,” an R-rated 1992 comedy/drama written and directed Tim Robbins about a right-wing folk singer who becomes a corrupt politician and runs a crooked election campaign, and the independent muck-raking reporter who tries to stop him.

The second film is a documentary called “Strong Sisters: Elected Women in Colorado,” which is a compilation of oral histories conducted through 76 interviews with women who have served in elected office, journalists, and experts on women's history, western history and gender politics.

Following the film showings, the audience may participate in a Q&A with Meg Froelich, one of the documentarians for “Strong Sisters.”

The films demonstrate the importance of voting, Denison said.

“The March to the Ballot Box draws attention to the importance of local elections —school board and city council, which directly affect our lives. The children's activities encourage young people to realize that they are and will be important to the community,” Denison said.

It's important that everybody exercises their right to vote, she added. “Voting is the best way to ensure that governments do what we want them to do.”

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