The mid-term elections are coming up on November 8th. California allows for early voting and I have already received my ballot along with a thick booklet from the state describing the many ways to vote and also information about all the candidates and the ballot issues, of which there are many. I received another thick booklet about all the issues the pertain to elections in just Monterey County. The second booklet has a sample ballot that I use to check off all my choices before entering them into the actual ballot prior to dropping it off. It is all very efficient and well-organized.
There are helpful guides to get information on the people and ballot issues. One is from the League of Women Voters. Another is from a self-described progressive who lives in Monterey giving his recommendations.
I live in the tiny town of Del Rey Oaks that is adjacent to the town of Monterey. It has a population of just around 1700 and the number of registered voters is about 1300. As a result, politics is very personalized. Both candidates for mayor have come to my home and talked with me. Two of the three candidates running for the two vacant seats in the city council have already come to my house. In fact the current mayor who is running for re-election sat down in my living room and we chatted for about half an hour about local issues. The next day she emailed me with some information about things that we had talked about.
There is something really quaint about small town politics. While I am sure that the people living here span the range of national politics, those highly charged national issues are out of sight. At least for now.