by Jason Barber, staff writer

Last week, journalism students held a round-table discussion of the hot topics in this year’s election Blue Book. The discussion tackled some questions, shared ways and means for registering to vote. It was a small attempt to help reignite voter action.

In its purest form, American democracy presents a fanciful, and perhaps, beautiful idea. As a nation, we present ourselves as the land that belongs to us all. Through our votes, we are given an opportunity to include our input on a slew of social, economic, and political proposals to change the governance of this country—particularly, in the local elections that concern our immediate communities. Yet, people don’t vote.

So, what’s the rub? Where is the disconnect between votes and able voters?

It seems that people just don’t care. Maybe it’s a belief that individual votes do not actually count for anything. Maybe it’s a sense that this system is not inclusive. Maybe it really is not.

What if it’s a distracted and disoriented constituency? What if that is somewhat on purpose? If it matters to you to be less ignorant, there are still ways and means for gaining a better understanding of the election matters. One of those things in our state is what is colloquially known as the Blue Book.

The book is somewhat overwhelming with lots of big words. Simply put, it’s boring. It is although, chock full of marvelous information, analyses, pros and cons, graphs, charts, summary introductions to the ballot proposals, judges’ performance evaluations, and so on and so forth.

There is, however, no section pertaining to the individuals running for office. If you are seeking that kind of information, you will need to find another resource. In our divided times it likely matters very little for a person of a particular party affiliation to be able to read about the opposing party’s candidate anyhow.

If you still do not think you want to try and figure all this stuff out on your own, fear not. There are resources available. Check Colorado Public Radio for a breakdown on ballot issues. And check the Blue Book through the Secretary of State Website.

Voting is a private matter, although better understanding of the resources on hand is not. Informed voters are the best voters.