A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

civic duty

September 10, 2012
Emilie Phillips

Every single election I find myself in the same straights, it’s a few days before the election and I am trying to figure out who to vote for (or what ballot initiatives). The first problem is figuring out what is even going to be on the ballot. The number of times I have shown up to the polls and discovered additional races or questions is embarrassing. Then I have to figure out something about each of the candidates and positions. President is easy enough to look up on the internet, but county attorney? Much of the time the people running for the little positions don’t have websites, and there is definitely no one checking if they are actually competent.


So how do the rest of you do it?


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Comments (9)

  • CA sends you a sample ballot. I forget how it worked in PA and IL, but at least somebody out there always collated all the information.

    For attorney or whatever, I tend to vote for the incumbent. I would only vote to boot them if there was a known scandal.

  • I usually visit the State Board of Elections website a few days before the election to read up on all the random local elections and ballot initiatives (which, unless they’re something hotly contested like allowing/forbidding gay marriage, hardly ever get any publicity).

    As for deciding which candidate to vote for, yeah, that’s tougher, especially in positions that I don’t even understand why it’s an elected office and not just a job that people interview for, i.e., clerk of court. There was a big deal a couple of years ago in Campbell County when a Tea Partier ran for that, and many people who worked at the courthouse were upset at the prospect of losing their experienced incumbent clerk – it wasn’t even about the political party…they just wanted the lady who’d been there for eons to stay rather than get somebody new with no experience. Why should people who’ve never set foot in the courthouse get to choose the clerk of court based on the candidates’ personal opinions on tax policy? Maybe I just don’t understand the job, but I don’t think the clerk of court gets a say in passing local legislation anyway, so why does their political party even matter? Sigh.

    • I once voted for a slate of republicans who were running for such bureaucratic positions with the platform “elect us and we’ll make these positions be professional posts rather than elected.”

      They lost of course, because of everyone pulling the “democrat” lever without reading up.

      • Or maybe people heard the Republicans saying “vote for us and we’ll let the Governor appoint these officials instead of letting you elect them yourselves”, and people rightly voted against it.

  • Mostly I just vote for what seems like a good idea at that moment, or leave items blank if I have no compelling opinion.

    However, if I had a tablet with wireless broadband service, I’d probably grab a sample ballot and hang out in the lobby for a while, looking up information on each of the ballot items.