I received my official mail-in ballot this week – meaning it’s time to get serious and do my research to cast my vote. I believe my choices are mine to cast and for no one else to know. Similar to the way a priest is to keep sins to himself when they are confessed. I believe voting should be just as sacred, it is our only true duty as citizens – besides Jury Duty & Military Service (if a draft is ever reinstated). According to the US Census Bureau only 60% of eligible voters are registered in the US. In the 2014 mid-term election, only 42% of those actually voted. Meaning less than a majority chose our leaders and laws two years ago. That’s a shame.
Having this now gives me four weeks to research and this season I need it! My ballot contains; 22 races to decide within a collection of President, Senator, House Representatives at both Federal and State level, State Supreme Court Justices and Sheriff, and on the back are 11 State & County Amendments & Referendums. Wow, 33 races, that’s a lot to research between now and Election Day. Finding the time to make an informed decision and not vote blindly by “party line”, isn’t easy. Let me share the way I chose my vote, perhaps it will help or inspire you to find a way to be an informed voter too.
By using three independent Internet sources and choosing three core personal values, getting through a daunting ballot like mine can progress rather quickly. My three are Equality, Freedom and Education. I look to find a candidate’s stance on these three areas. I typically start with a Wiki type site for general information then call up the actual candidate’s website to read their words. Finally, I try to find an article about the candidate on a news agency site, typically that’ll be NPR, Democracy Now or the BBC (sometimes a local source is needed for School board or Judge positions). No more than three minutes a site, that’s enough to get an impression and more than most voters take when deciding. Good Luck Voters- Now is the time to decide our country’s direction for the next 2 to 6 years.
(What was I thinking that I could get this post in 3 paragraphs when my sister asked about the Amendments? These are items that will be added to the founding documents of your State, County or City if passed. I listen to no propaganda on amendments. I read them. And IF I understand them enough to think that the Constitution/Charter should be changed with such language, I will vote Yes. Most times I vote NO, because I cannot make sense of the words. Plus I feel most amendments wouldn’t be needed if we elected representatives who made the correct laws to begin with.)