Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Do your civic duty - educate yourself or don't vote

You read that right - don't vote if you haven't taken any time to educate yourself about the issues, the candidates or their positions. Voting a ticket or based on TV ads alone help no one.

A democracy only works with the voters are informed about the choices they make when they vote. A democratic republic only works when the voters are informed about the history of the candidates they're electing to know whether or not they're likely to follow through on some or all of their campaign promises (hint, it will rarely if ever be "all").

If you haven't done any research on your candidates then you're in no position to make an informed decision and should recuse yourself from voting. It doesn't matter if you didn't research by choice or you couldn't research, the result is the same -- you don't really know who you're voting for.

If everyone who didn't know much of anything about their elected representative(s) didn't vote, then the only people who vote would be the people who are informed. This is different than saying only an elite class should vote -- this is saying if you want to be part of that elite class, educate yourself, there are many resources available including http://vote-smart.org.

Do yourself and everyone else a favor today -- take time to know all the candidates before voting or just stay home. Since I haven't done my research this time, today will be the first year I've not voted since I was eligible.

P.S. This is not to say you shouldn't vote at all if you know enough about a few candidates, it's simply saying you should not vote for candidates you know little or nothing about. Leaving columns blank on the ballot is O.K.

Helpful links:
  • Project Vote Smart: http://vote-smart.org

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