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Letter: Please Do Your Own Research When Choosing Candidates for Office

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To the Editor:

It’s election season, and that means we are going to start seeing the final push from candidates and parties to get voters’ support. That means a lot of social media posts meant to grab your attention. Something I cannot help but notice as an admin and moderator on social media, is that every election season people are willing to take talking points, fear tactics, and misinformation (from ALL sides) without many actually looking into sources or doing their own research.

PLEASE people, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, before you head to the polls. Learn about your candidates. Learn about the issues they are saying they will cover. And do not be afraid to call them out when misinformation is spread.

An example of this was recently posted on several political candidates pages as well as the local Party page. It was a photo of a woman who appeared to be distressed, with a couple sentences about our town not being one of the safest in the country. The post that went along with this indicated that “The chances of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in West Hartford is 1 in 44.”

At face value – this is telling you that you are 1 in 44 times MORE likely to be the victim of a violent OR property crime in West Hartford. Sounds scary, right? Notice how they put the word “violent” first? I think most people, regardless of political leanings, would admit we have an issue with crime here. My cars have been rummaged through, had items stolen, etc. several times over the years. That’s property crime – not violent crime.

How many people who read that post, will look up the source used in that post? Will they see that – when it comes to VIOLENT crime – the rate in our town is “well below the national average” and that “one’s chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime here is one in 1749”? That is direct from the source provided (www.neighborhoodscout.com/ct/west-hartford/crime#description)

It’s important to note that same source does show that we have an above average chance of being the victim of a property crime – and that statistic is one in 45.

Are we to be coerced into voting for candidates and parties based on misguided information and fear tactics? Or should we review sources and see if the information being provided is accurate or being misconstrued? I know what I do. I look for facts.

If a candidate is telling you “There is no crime issue in West Hartford” do your research. If a candidate is telling you “There is a huge crime problem in West Hartford” do your research. These are people you will be voting for to represent YOU. They are YOUR voice. Do not allow their “talking points” to speak for YOU!

Sandy Holland
West Hartford

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