Today was election day and I voted. More importantly, I researched my vote this year and I feel really good about each and every one of my votes. Suprisingly, it didn't take that much work to do the research. ...
The last post I made on this blog was about votedifferent.org. I bought that domain name because I do not like the idea of straight party tickets. In a two party system, which the United States has developed, it polarizes the issues. That doesn't make much sense to me. I don't believe that half the country believes one way and the other half believes another. I bet most people believe somewhere in between and feel obligated to choose sides.
With that said, I decided to do something about it, for myself at least. I researched who I was going to vote for today. The first thing I did was google my board of elections to find out what I would be voting on. Then I went through the list and googled all the candidates to find out what I could. Many people had some information on themselves out there but some didn't. Then I came across the best place for research, newspaper websites. My local newspaper had a section dedicated to this years election. From there I was able to download a fairly accurate sample ballot. They also had information grids for some of the races that I had a lot of difficulty finding information about, such as board of education.
With that said I spent maybe 5 hours over 2 months of researching. It was a smaller election than what will be happening in 2008, so it will probably take a bit more time to research then. But even if it takes 3 times as much time to research, I will be giving myself more time so it won't even be an issue. However, 2007 should be a smaller election so it should be easier.
As for the results, first let it be known that without research I would have voted democrats and guessed on the judges. After doing research though I didn't vote for some democrats. One I didn't vote for because his website made it clear I didn't want him in office. Another I didn't vote for because I couldn't find ANY information on him, he didn't even answer the 4 question questionnaire the newspaper sent him. My thought was, if he doesn't want to let us know about him, he's not that interested in running. I voted for the judges I wanted. Some had websites, some were in the newspaper grids and the state sent me a non-partisan judicial voter guide that made it easy to make my decisions. I'm not sure if I voted democrat or republican in the judicial races because I didn't even look at the card I got from the democratic party on which judges to vote for.
So take a little time, do a modicum of research and feel good about your vote. If you want some help, let me know, I'd be glad to.