One of the things I’m not going to do on this blog is use it as a platform to convince you to vote for a certain candidate or certain political agenda. I’ve said before that I’m a Registered Independent (a.k.a. Registered Unaffiliated), and we’ll just leave it at that.
I already know who I’m voting for, and I’ll like you regardless of your choice in the elections. And, I promise not to talk too much about you behind your back if I find out that our views differ. I won’t change my mind about who I’m voting for, and I’m not going to change anyone else’s mind.
As much as I’d prefer to vote in the privacy of my own home on a mail-in ballot, I’m not going to do it. I’m taking Claire with me to the polls. I want her to see the process and be a part of the process. I don’t want her ever to look back and not remember a time when voting wasn’t important. It’s that important to me.
I’m a big proponent of being an informed voter. But, it seems like this has become more daunting as time goes by.
The other day, my hubby and I received something in the mail. It was addressed to “All Registered Voters” at our address. It’s a booklet of information…a HUGE booklet. It is our official “2008 State Ballot Information Booklet.”
It’s 134 pages long!
See? It’s not something to be trifled with.
This booklet contains 61 pages of information on all of the Amendments (14!) and Referendums (4!) that we’re required to vote on in this election. It contains another 49 pages of what the exact wording would look like regarding these Amendments and Referendums. The rest of the book is a listing of all the judges that are up for retention (17 in our county!), with detailed information regarding the judges’ strengths, weaknesses, and approval ratings as compiled by a third party.
On one hand, I’m overwhelmed. This is a lot of information. And, this doesn’t even touch on the actual candidates running for the various offices.
On the other hand, I’m glad that all of this information is in one place. The booklet shows the arguments for and arguments against each issue, as reported by a neutral third party. It shows the impact, if any, on the tax payer.
It even has a handy check-list to take with you to the polls…a cheat sheet of sorts. (And, it’s even called a Cheat Sheet!)
Am I the only one who reads this information? Am I the only one who painstakingly sifts through all the information, weighing it against what I feel to be a good decision? Am I really qualified to make some of these decisions?
Some of the Amendments leapt out of the page and were very obvious to me. Some of them were very confusing. Some of them, quite frankly, I don’t really care about. And, two of them were actually contradictory to each other! In fact, it was noted that if both Amendments pass, it will be confusing and difficult to figure out how to implement them! (I’ll save them the trouble. I’ll vote ‘no’ on both…how’s that for conflict resolution.)
I am so fortunate for the right to vote. I know this. I appreciate this with all my heart. But, I saw this light blue book arrive in the mail and I had flashbacks to those dreaded blue book tests in college. Do they even have those anymore? They really were blue books. They were filled with blank pages, and they had light blue covers. The professor would write the question on the board, and you had the entire class period (or whatever the allotted time was) to write until your hand cramped up or you’d made your point known in both a thought-provoking and concise way.
So, I’ve received my study guide. I’ve made my notes. I’m looking forward to showing my daughter what it truly means to be an American. I’m ready to cast my vote.