October 23, 2010

It’s the most wonderful time…of the year….

Ah, yes. Election Day 2010 is right around the corner. Ten days away, to be exact. Do you know who you’re voting for? Me neither. But I have been thinking about it.

I know – how can you decide who to vote for before you see the ballot?  Nobody can get all the candidates straight from the barrage of political ads on TV.  But you can actually get an idea of who will be running for which office in your area, even before you walk into that claustrophobic little booth.

I found a site called evoter.com. It’s an “unbiased, non-partisan election information site.” If you live in Illinois or a handful of other states, you can:

  • see where your polling place is
  • see a sample ballot for your area
  • view candidates’ online profiles
  • get links to candidates’ websites

All in one place. With no spin or name-calling. Genius!

So what do you do if the candidate you like doesn’t have a profile or a link?  Run their name through the search engine of your choice and do a little independent research.  What if your state’s not available on evoter.com?  Try searching for “sample ballot <your state>” or “<your state> board of elections”.

I know – no one has the time to waste on researching politicians, right?  Wrong.  You can’t have everything handed to you on a silver plate; that’s why it’s called “exercising your freedom to vote” – because it takes some work.

It is so vital to be informed when you cast your ballot.  The 2010 Census was just completed.  The next Congress is going to be responsible for redrawing congressional districts.  There are still important issues up in the air that will be dealt with by the people that we elect.  If you blindly vote for a party, you’ve surrendered your right (and your duty) to have your voice heard.

Like a lot of people, I’ve pretty much always voted for a party. I didn’t know anything about the candidates, so I assumed that one party lined up closer with my beliefs than the other. 

Most fair-minded Americans would admit that our politicians seem to be increasingly distanced from what we average folks think. Since this situation’s been getting worse for quite a while, I have to admit that I have been part of the problem. I was a blind voter.

So now I ask - have you been part of the problem, too? Then this is your chance to change. This year, I’m going to be part of the solution. This year, I’m voting my conscience.

Think about what’s important to to you.

  1. Gun control?
  2. Abortion?
  3. Socialized health care?
  4. Tax reform?
  5. Fiscal responsibility?
  6. Personal integrity in our leaders?
  7. Job creation?
  8. “Don’t ask, don’t tell”?

Find the candidates that believe in what you do, and VOTE!

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