Monday, October 6, 2008

Pre-election rant

I typically have a pre-election rant, so here it is. This time I'm hitting it a little earlier than normal, though we have only a month until the general election. My objective isn't to tell you who or what to vote for-- I think I've made it pretty clear what I think-- but to encourage any who read this to vote smart. By voting "smart" I don't mean "vote my way" I mean "vote educated." I see too many people who vote for someone/something for superficial reasons and know next-to-nothing about a particular candidate or issue. There are ample resources available to help voters make educated decisions about anything. The simple fact that you are reading this means you can access the many websites for and against a candidate or issue as well as news about them. For candidates we need to look at who they are and ask ourselves questions like, what has this person done in previous experience? Are they things I agree with? Do they stand for the ideals I do? Of course there is never going to be the "perfect" candidate, but there is usually someone that we can identify with more than the other. The same goes with issues: what will passing or rejecting this issue do to the area or to me? Is it positive or negative? Will it cost me money I don't want to or can't afford pay? Will it allow things I consider to be wrong? Granted, not all things you will be voting for are equally important, but it's still a good idea to be familiar. I am a firm believer that a non-educated vote is worse than a non-vote. This is why I'm worried about this drive going on in Ohio to get people to vote. Yes, voting is very important, but it is something that can also be abused. We shouldn't be JUST promoting the act of voting, we should also be advocating the entire process and making educated decisions on who or what to vote for. I don't think I have ever seen any group that promotes voter education outside the local League of Women Voters here in Kent. They publish a non-partisan voter guide before each election that includes basic information about each candidate as well as ballot issues. It's not comprehensive, but does allow voters to make at least a more educated vote than just voting along party lines.

I want to be clear here: I do NOT have a problem with more people or poor people voting; what I have a problem with is just getting them to vote for the sake of voting. I feel like it's being done not to help them make educated choices but just to pad numbers. While there are CERTAINLY people that are educated in regards to the issues and opinionated who now have the opportunity to vote, there are many more that are being courted for the vote for whatever candidate and/or issue the group getting them to vote supports. I think it's taking advantage of people and of the voting system no matter who the party is they support more. I'm also not at all excited about same-day registration. I think it's opening the door to voter fraud and mass confusion in Ohio. This from the same state that just forced Cuyahoga County to spend millions of dollars to get an entirely new voting system and asked many of the rest of the counties to do the same in an effort to reduce voter fraud. The state should be focusing on making elections safe, reliable, and accurate. Instead, we're setting aside the safeguards put in place to make sure that every vote is equally counted and that those who vote are legally allowed to do so.

So, November 4th is coming quickly. If you haven't registered, I think you're out of luck unless you're able to get that same-day registration. Just make sure you make an educated vote no matter which way you lean. If you don't know, don't vote.


The Mathews said...

THANK YOU! It's these sort of RANTS that people need to hear. My new friends here in IN aren't registered, but it's because they would rather not vote than not know what they're voting for. Can we get this post sent to everyone's email inbox? hmmm..!!

Anonymous said...

i cannot stand being an "absentee ballot" voter ... it just seems that our votes don't count unless it's close - but if anything, the past 2 elections should show everyone that their votes count! :) so, my voice may go unheard, it may not ... at least i voted! and we know who i'm voting for! :) miss you! -tina