Hard to imagine you may not have heard, but mid-term elections are happening tomorrow (Tuesday, November 2nd, most polls are open from 7am to 8pm). What with the blanketing of the airwaves with political ads, you'd think we'd all have plenty of information on who and what we're voting for. Me, I still need some basics.
Thankfully, the freebie neigbhorhood newspaper had an extensive voters guide in it, querying the candidates from governor to school board about what they stand for, what their plans are, etc., so I'm perusing that to get a jump on things. I live in fear of accidentally voting for a nut job, which for me would be worse than not voting. And not voting is not an option.
I need to doublecheck with the Minnesota Secretary of State's website - www.sos.state.mn.us - to make sure my polling place hasn't moved while I wasn't paying attention between the primaries and now. That site also has a rundown of all the offices on the ballot that I'll be voting for, so I can be sure my little last minute voter homework cramming is complete. For some reason, it makes me giggle that the Secretary of State website ends up having "sos" in it. Ah, fun with initials.
The local League of Women Voters website is also another handy reference - www.lwvmpls.org. After all, women haven't even had the vote for 100 years yet in this country (ridiculous as that sounds). They tend to be very watchful, level-headed, and informative about these things. For instance, there's an amendment on the ballot for Minneapolis that I've heard zilch about. Best not to be surprised. I can read up on the pros and cons thanks to the League.
Driving in to work today, I ended up stuck behind a car with one of those George W. Bush bumper stickers with his picture and the question, "Miss me yet?"
Which reminded me of a time a couple of weeks back when I was returning from working my second job (and let me tell you, these days, though it's exhausting sometimes, I'm grateful to have even one job, much less two, to help me pay the bills, and support the writing work. Anyway...) I was getting my backpack out of the car when this guy wandering through my parking lot at night sort of sneered at me. He'd seen the Obama bumper stickers on my car and so felt compelled to ask, "So, you still happy you voted for Obama?"
I thought about it for a split second and realized, "Yeah, I am." So I said so.
End of conversation. Guy just kept walking.
Personally, I feel like progress is being made. But things only have a chance of going the way we want if we stay involved in the process.
People have bled and died so I could amble down the street to the local elementary school, walk into the gymnasium, pick up a ballot, step up to a little voting station, fill in a dot, or complete an arrow, and register my opinion on who should be leading us for the next two, four or six years, locally and nationally.
Seems like the least I can do is do a little research on the people wanting my vote, and then show up.
While I certainly have my own opinions and preferences, I honestly don't care how you vote, just that you do vote. So get out there and make your voice heard.
And watch out for the nut jobs.