How to become an informed voter

I am the worst when it comes to voting. I admit it. I don?t always perform my civic duty. I like to bitch about the state of our government and threaten to move away on a regular basis. And I am aware that if I performed my civic duty like a good citizen there is a distinct possibility that our government might suck just that much less. Yeah wight. Why do I often not vote? Simple… I have the attention span of a cricket. I hate being an uninformed voter and just going down the list marking all Republican or all Democrat. If I were smart I would know which are red and which are blue. I do know which are the elephants and which are the asses. This from being a long time Republican. Sorry Grandpa. However, due to the state of our current governmental issues my party line has become a little blurred. Sure I voted for “that guy.” And yes… I do regret my decision now, but at the time I felt I was making the best decision given the choices I had. When it comes to someone as important as the President I will stand up and excercise my right to vote. And make an informed choice at that. I spent hours researching the candidates platforms, listening to debates and reading articles on the internet. Hell, I was trying to teach teenagers how to also make an informed choice. I still hold fast to my thought that at the time I made the decision I felt was right. Please don?t judge me.

Now that it is election day I realize that it is once again time to do my civic duty. Even if it was when CS came and put my ballot in front of me and said, “VOTE.” I realized that yep… it?s time to become an informed voter. This is quite a difficult task when you are a stay at home mom to a toddler. God forbid you read a book on your own. Normally it is ripped out of my hand and quickly replaced with something like “Moo, Baa, Lalala.” So again, how do I become an informed voter? Is it by watching the countless commercials where one candidate is bashing another? Well, I have noticed that media campaigning is soley for the benefit of hurting the other guy and not telling me, the voter, WHY I should vote for you. Is it by the countless flyers that litter my mailbox? No. Those only serve as job security for my Step-dad who has to deliver all the blessed things from the print shop to the campaign offices. That leaves me with my trusty voter?s pamphlet and the internet. In order to utilize the internet I would first have to be informed enough to know who is running for what. This takes time. I don?t have time. Mom to a toddler remember? So at long last we come to the voters pamphlet. Well the trick here is that it closely resembles a book. So how can I read my pamphlet in peace. AH HA! Here is where we use our 5 minutes of bliss to become an informed voter. Ok… not so much informed, but slightly more educated than making a pretty pattern while punching out the dimpled or hanging chads.

On a serious note… I do encourage you who are citizens to take the time to excersize your right to vote. Of course if you live in western Washington you better hope that you vote by absentee seeing as the majority of the polling places are flooded or the roads to them are. I do plan on voting. I plan on voting in favor of our local parks and sidewalks, in favor of any medic one stuff (hey man you may need it someday) and also in favor of any school levy that comes my way. They pay for the next round of informed voters. But that is a discussion for another day.

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