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Educate Yourself and Get Out There and Vote!!!

November 2, 2010 · 30 comments

in Commentary, Life

Happy Election Day everyone!  Have you voted yet today?  I know I was up bright and early casting my ballot.

I love election day for many reasons.  One, I get to vote!  Two, I find it exciting to watch election returns come in, especially when my favorites are winning.  Third, I can get the mail without sorting through all the political propaganda.  Fourth, I can pick up the phone again and won’t have to listen to a recorded voice telling me how to vote.  Fifth, I won’t have to watch or listen to political commercials.

As I was thinking about who I would be voting for, my brain started roaming to how I wish elections were run.  If I rewrote the rules for political campaigns, the rules would be as follows:

  1. There would only be one political mailing the entire campaign season.  It would strictly be the facts about proposals and the beliefs/plans of each candidate.
  2. TV/Radio ads and yard signs would be banned.
  3. Debates would be the way most people got their information.  Candidates would only be able to speak about their own plans, and not about how the opponent played some illegal Texas Hold’Em in their dorm room 20 years ago.

Sure, my plan is wholly unrealistic, but I would just love if we could deal with more facts than trash talk.   Think of the benefits to my campaign reform:  Countless trees would be saved…you would be able to sit down and eat dinner without being interrupted by robot-generated phone calls.  Wouldn’t it be great if all the money that was spent on political campaigns went toward fixing urban schools and feeding the hungry instead?   We spend so much money on every election, and I don’t know that it is doing our country any good.  I don’t think the candidate with the best plan get elected anymore; it is more about whose campaign can out-yell the other.  (And yelling costs money!)

I hope everyone out there truly educates themselves before heading to the voting booth.  There is so much information readily available about local proposals and each of the candidates, all you have to do is take some time and read.  Of course, I don’t mean just read the headlines, I mean truly understand the issues and the beliefs of each candidate.  I am so tired of people voting based on a one-line headline or a catch-phrase.  For example, a few years ago, I just kept hearing “We need a change!”.  I would then reply “what needs to change?”.   The person would then stammer “Well… we just need things to change”.  Oh, ok.  Thanks for the lively conversation.  I am convinced!

I know that life is busy and sometimes there are long lines at the precincts.  However, you only have to stand in a long voting line once a year, so it really can’t be an excuse.   Whether you are Republican or Democrat, I don’t care.  Just stand up for what you believe in, and get to the voting booth today.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

The Biz of Life November 2, 2010 at 8:28 am

Go to http://www.votesmart.org/voteeasy/# to see which candidate most closely aligns with your views. You’ll never be able to sort things out if you only listen to the commercials or read the fliers you get in the mail. I find the debates only moderately helpful since a lot of candidates campaign one way and govern an entirely different way.

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc November 2, 2010 at 9:12 am

Biz, thanks for the link.

I am actually about to go vote right now

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Kris November 2, 2010 at 9:25 am

Good job Shawn! Hope your lines are short!

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc November 2, 2010 at 10:27 am

The lines were short, and I’m already back. About to get back to work!

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The Biz of Life November 2, 2010 at 9:38 am

I’ll be headed to the polls later today. Have to pick up my oldest who is interning for a Congressman this semester on Capital Hill, then we’ll go vote together.

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Kris November 2, 2010 at 11:30 am

Biz – how exciting! I can’t imagine how interesting it must be to work on Capitol Hill. How fun to go vote with your son too. Does your son have political aspirations himself?

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Kris November 2, 2010 at 9:22 am

Hey Biz, great link! Thanks so much for adding it!

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Money Reasons November 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Wow, I’ve never heard of that site, but I was wondering if there was an online resource that could provide objective information like this!

Thanks for the info!

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Khaleef @ KNS Financial November 2, 2010 at 10:05 am

I agree so much with this post! I can’t stand all of the catch phrases and trash talking. Just stick to the facts and tell me what your plans are.

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Kris November 2, 2010 at 11:28 am

Thanks Khaleef. I am so glad it is almost over for this year! So much effort is spent on 30 second commercials that there isn’t time or money to spend on actually discussing what the plans are!

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Aloysa November 2, 2010 at 10:50 am

I will vote today. It is my first time voting in the US. Yay! I am way too excited! Excellent post by the way.

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Kris November 2, 2010 at 11:26 am

Hey Congratulations Aloysa- it is a big day for you!!! Let us know how it goes.

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Money Reasons November 2, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I remember hearing the change slogan, and thought to myself “Change isn’t always better”!

In fact, thinking clearly, one would realize that our country is one of the best out there with respect to standard of living… So why would we want to change it? Bizarro logic 😉

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Kris November 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I can think a quite a few things I would change right now! Unfortunately, I am not in a position of power… 🙂

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Frances November 2, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I will be happy to see this thing be over for awhile. People get so heated and mean. I feel like shaking them out of their media induced comas, but it’s pointless to argue.

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Kris November 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Frances, you are so right. Arguing with people about politics is useless. Some people are truly like the proverbial brick wall and just cannot hear another viewpoint. I am always willing to talk with someone as long as they have a basis for their opinion. But oftentimes, I just hear some canned answer being parroted at me over and over. That is when I walk away.

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Crystal @ BFS November 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I’m getting to leave 2 hours early to vote, but I can’t seem to access the site I need to find my polling station on…annoying…

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Crystal @ BFS November 2, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Whoo-hoo, got to harrisvotes.org and found out that I vote at the elementary school in my neighborhood. Woot!

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Kris November 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Crystal – is this the first time you have voted where you live?????

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Crystal @ BFS November 2, 2010 at 10:27 pm

This is the first time I haven’t voted early, so I couldn’t just go to my library. 🙂

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Crystal @ BFS November 2, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Oh, and I voted – no lines! I’m never early voting again…apparently the elementary school is well hidden…

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Suba @ Wealth Informatics November 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I am not a citizen, so I am a bystander here. But I have volunteered for some of my friends, so for the first time I got really close to see how it all works. Sometimes I feel bad about them, they want to help, but when they belong to a big party, their individual values get lost. They end up working for some big picture that they themselves cannot see… well… hope we have someone who is conscious about the wasteful spending and all the debt we have. Great post! Made me wish I could vote 🙂

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Kris November 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I can’t imagine what our political system must look like to someone that was not born here. I would love to see a post about it Suba!

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Squirrelers November 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Great message in this post.

Actually, it also reminds me of an essay I wrote in high school (20 yrs ago). No joke, it was on the importance of voting, and it got published in the local paper. It was the one single essay from my school that was selected to be published….the early seeds of writing were planted….

Here’s the catch – It took me about 10 years after I wrote that before I actually went out and voted. Needless to say, I have been teased for my hypocrisy for those years:)

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Kris November 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Hypocrite-Squirrel: Why did you take so long to vote? I love voting! I remember dragging all 3 of my little ones to the polls with me. Exhausting yet, but worth it.

You should reprint your essay if you can find it. I would love to read it.

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Nicole November 2, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Been there, done that. Greatly depressed because I’m fairly sure we’re stuck with the same awful governor who is actively trying to destroy the place where I work.

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Kris November 2, 2010 at 8:22 pm

That is a bummer when you get stuck with a lousy Governor. I am so glad we have term limits and we will be getting a new Governor no matter what tonight. Anything would be better than what we have. (In my opinion…)

I hope things somehow work you way…

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Invest It Wisely November 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm

If only these politicians didn’t resort to attack ads! Then again, politics gets dirty when it’s about a fight over the levers of power.

In defense of the non-voters, refusing to vote for the “lessor of two evils” is a valid choice in their eyes. Whether you paint the walls red or blue, the government is what it is, and the color of the party in power doesn’t actually change things that much. Debt, spending, and war carry on like always.

In the end, you must vote with your conscience and your heart, whether that be for red, blue, green, whatever, or no vote at all.

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Kris November 3, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Kevin, I also think a big reason people don’t vote is because they don’t get familiar with the candidates and their policies. I know for myself, I don’t know who to vote for circuit judge at times and things like that. I just leave those bubbles blank and vote for what I know.

I really think that if you don’t vote, you shouldn’t complain about the end result.

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Kevin@InvestItWisely November 3, 2010 at 8:30 pm

True! That’s also a good argument for not forcing people to vote — imagine if the only information people had to go on was a 5 minute sound bite. I know a lot of people already vote based on that, but imagine being forced to do it…

There’s a debate going on here about it right now: http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/does-my-vote-matter

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