by Art Edelstein
Tomorrow is Election Day 1998 and some of us may still be undecided as to which candidates to vote for. Where can we get election informatioin in a hurry? One way is to go online and look up candidate positions on their Web pages.
While one would think that by now most candidates running for public office would have their own Web site, a site that contains position papers, candidate biography and media reports, this is not yet a universal concept, and certainly not in Vermont. In my check of Vermonters running for statewide office, I found that most major candidates did not have their own personal Web sites for this election.
The most visible online candidate is Sen. Patrick Leahy whose official election page is at www.leahy98.com. Among the information you can find here is his election commercials which you can view (with the appropriate plug-in software) as actual video.
Leahy is very Internet savvy. He has embraced this technology since its inception, which is probably why his Web site is so much better than other Vermont candidates.
The senator also has a U.S. government Web site, www.house.gov/~leahy/ which is non-political in nature.
I found U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders' official goverment Web site, www.house.gov/bernie/ but no specific election site was listed. Also, apparently missing from the Internet were election Web sites for all the major statewide candidates. However, there is information about candidates provided on the All Vermont Web Site located at users.aol.com/frotz/vermont.htm. Here, you can click on a number of links to candidate information. There are profiles, biographies, or candidate statement pages provided as well as general election information. Another similar type page, www.political.com/vt.htm, gives an overview of Vermont politics, with all candidate names for major statewide offices provided.
The major political parties in Vermont each have a Web site. These sites do provide further information about party candidates. At www.geocities.com/RainForest/Canopy/8300/indexl.htm I found the Vermont Republican Party candidate page.
At homepages.together.net/(tilde)vtdems/ I located the Vermont Democratic Party homepage.
After you've decided who to vote for, and have gone to the polling booth and checked the ballot, or pulled the lever, you'll want to know who won and who lost. The Internet will be useful for this information. We here at The Caledonian-Record will be updating our Web page from 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening when the polls close.
At our Web site at www.caledonian-record.com, you'll be able to follow the fate of candidates in several important local races. The race between Leigh Larocque and Rep. Jennifer Nelson for the Vermont House of Representatives is particularly interesting this year. We will also cover the four-way race for Caledonia County sheriff which finds Patricia Forest, Mike Bergeron, Gil Roberts and Phil Ciotti in a tight race. Those readers following the Hardwick House of Representatives race between Rep. Paul Cillo and David Brown can keep up to date on this issue-oriented race.
Of course, there are a lot of other local races to follow around Vermont. One way to keep abreast of them will be to go to the other online media in the state. You can find a list of these Web sites at users.aol.com/frotz/ezines.htm. There are plenty of links to visit. For those of you who are used to watching election results on television, you might try a change of pace by visiting WCAX, Channel 3, Web site located at www.wcax.com/. There is sure to be lots of election information posted here.
Finally, if you want to follow the national election news via the Internet, you should try any of the major networks. At www.cbsnews.com, or www.abcnews.com, you can link to national results and also to races in other states.
And, don't forget to vote.