Election day is just around the corner. A seven-week-long corner. Nonetheless, it’s prime time for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors candidates to get their messages out. And what better way than via the Internet? As a public service, C-VILLE scoured the Web in search of candidate websites (two candidates, Lindsay Dorrier and Dennis King, didn’t have sites).
Candidate: Ken Boyd
What an 18-year-old voter thinks: Where do I click?
What a 58-year-old voter thinks: No really, aren’t I supposed to click something?
As campaign websites go, this one leans towards the “Dragnet” side of the spectrum: just the facts. And a picture of a man in a suit. Boyd’s site has all of three pages. But they’re good pages—you can read about his stances (no to taxes, yes to the Meadowcreek Parkway), get a bullet-point resumé and order a bumper sticker. No frills, but the site gets the job done.
Candidate: Marcia Joseph
What an 18-year-old voter thinks: Only one blog entry a month?
What a 58-year-old voter thinks: I appreciate the user-friendly links.
Graphically, this site’s pretty damn slick. Nice candidate picture: part nature, part business suit. The Rivanna map adds to the authenticity, and the colors actually have a scheme. It’s a site with the user in mind. Each page has a clear purpose: About Marcia, What Marcia Stands For and Events. There’s a clear message of smart growth, and vetoing dumb development proposals. The details are a little light, though the “Events” link tells you when and where to learn more.
Candidate: Kevin Fletcher
What an 18-year-old voter thinks: Cool logo.
What a 58-year-old voter thinks: Cool logo, for a commie.
Fletcher is the only one in this particular race with a website, and he’s chosen to go retro with it. It is composed of one page, a flaggy-looking graphic and seven numbered points under the head “Important Reasons to Support Kevin Fletcher.” Apparently we’re just supposed to trust that this guy wears a suit—which, from the looks of other sites, is something of a requirement—because there’s no picture to be found. The Important Reasons, though, cut right to the heart of many issues in the county: affordable housing, rural preservation, local food. But still, no picture. Looks like Fletcher’s got his style-substance ratio all out of whack.
Candidate: David Wyant
District: White Hall
What an 18-year-old voter thinks: Is this a PDF?
What a 58-year-old voter thinks: Finally. A large block of bookish-looking text I can sink my teeth into.
Somewhere if you keep scrolling, and then scroll some more, there are accomplishments and goals that Wyant listed on his site. And if you concentrate really hard, you might be able to read that Wyant will continue focusing on the Advance Mill Bridge replacement and that he is also a strong proponent of protecting property rights. But your eyes will probably cross before you can make it any further. On the flip side, there is a picture of him standing next to an American flag, which always plays much better than words.
Candidate: Ann Mallek
District: White Hall
What an 18-year-old voter thinks: Now this is a website.
What a 58-year-old voter thinks: So this is a website.
Mallek does both style and substance on the Web. Along with a content management system and a simple yet forceful logo, the site also boasts four of Mallek’s position papers ranging from subjects like Biscuit Run (“taxpayers should not be subsidizing this or any development projects”) to the top three challenges facing the county (homeowners’ rights, environment and affordable housing). Her message is constant no matter where you navigate—citizens shouldn’t subsidize development. It’s slick, pleasant and easy to use. If Bill Clinton were a website, he’d probably look something like this.
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