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Democracy thrives with your respectful participation

Letters to the editor. Send signed letters to Nancy@NancyOnNorwalk.com with a suggested headline.

The League of Women Voters of Norwalk would like to thank all who participated in the November 7 elections: poll workers and election officials, all who worked on campaigns, all who voted, and especially those who took the risk of offering themselves to the community as candidates.

We express our gratitude to those who did the work of organizing the League’s candidate forums, with a shout-out to Norwalk ACTS, host of the Board of Education forum. These forums are a balancing act in terms of impartiality to candidates—not just by avoiding party preferences, but also with fairness to first-time challengers, political veterans, and experienced incumbents alike.

The forums also require a balance in promoting freedom of speech and welcoming all voices inclusively while maintaining a climate of civility. Unfortunately, this year a handful of forum attendees behaved disrespectfully. Candidates spend many hours knocking on doors, listening to fellow Norwalkers, answering written questions for published voter guides such as the League’s VOTE411, and attending forums to address citizen questions on the fly. While tough questioning is expected, rude comments are not acceptable. As always, we implore all participants to engage in respectful, healthy, and productive dialogue.

Now that Election Day is past, here are four ways to boost your civic engagement going forward.

  1. Did you know that Connecticut requires random vote audits after every election, and that the public can observe the audits? The current post-election audit, with locations to be chosen by lottery, will begin Wednesday, Nov. 22. Sign up to be a volunteer observer at CTElectionAudit.org/volunteer or call (860) 918-2115.
  2. Who chooses the candidates? The political party members are the ones who vote to endorse candidates. To become a Democratic or Republican Party voting member, you must be elected in the party caucus, held in January of each even-numbered year (e.g., 2024) with the time and place announced to the public by the party. Each party has its own rules and procedures, so check with the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee or Norwalk Republican Town Committee as to their caucus plans for this January. And if you’re neither a Democrat nor a Republican, consider the Norwalk Independent Party or any of the other parties recognized in our state .
  3. Serve on a Board or Commission. Norwalk has dozens of Boards and Commissions with appointed citizen members; see the City website under City Government – Boards & Commissions. Consider which ones fit well with your interests, talk to current members, and submit a letter of interest and résumé to the Mayor and/or your district’s Common Council members.
  4. Finally, join the League of Women Voters! As a nonpartisan dues-supported organization, the League thrives when community residents get involved, helping to fulfill our mission of empowering voters and defending democracy.

League of Women Voters of Norwalk

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