Saturday, October 25, 2014

Don't Vote! - Unless... (Principles of Freedom)

As the election approaches, I am going to consciously offend a few of my readers. I apologize in advance for doing so, but this needs to be said. Please DON’T VOTE --- UNLESS…

Please don’t vote unless you care about the direction our country is going and you care enough to inform yourself about all sides of the issues we face.

Please don’t vote unless you take the time to research ALL the candidates and what they actually believe and stand for. In the case of those who have been in office, research what they actually voted for and against more than what they say. Sadly, the two sometimes don’t match up.

Please don’t vote unless you care about the good of the nation and the future as it pertains to our children and grand-children and not just about your own well-being and situation.

Please don’t vote a straight party ticket with no variation. It is a lazy and uninformed way to do things. Every party has people that are not worthy of your vote and most if not all have at least one candidate that is worthy of your thoughtful consideration though perhaps not your vote. Independents that choose not to be connected to any party can also have good ideas and character.

Please don’t vote for the “lesser of two evils”. Voting for any “evil” is a choice to support something or someone that is wrong. If you can’t honestly find one candidate (or more) that stands up for what you believe is good and right, with-hold your vote in that race or write in someone you do believe in. In most elections, write-ins are not counted unless they have registered with the state or local government, but they can’t throw out the rest of your votes if you choose to write in someone you wish would run but didn’t. That way, you can at least have integrity in who and what you vote “for” instead of leaving the voting booth with a bad taste in your mouth after voting “against” the worst candidate but for someone you don’t believe in.

Utah puts out a voter information packet that you can either look at online or have sent to your home. It is a starting point, but each candidate only gets 200 words to tell you what they think and will do. That is not enough. Check their websites, campaign literature and especially voting records. Check out voter pages at KUED where they have videos of each major candidate (more than 200 words, but still not enough info). Check out report card sites like that keep track of important votes by our national congress people. That one is considered conservative and constitutionally oriented, but others track votes on the environment, social issues and special interests such as aging, health care, etc.

Informed voters can have a real impact on our government and our future. In Utah, approximately 40% of those of voting age don’t even register to vote. Of those who register, only about half vote. That means that about 30% of possible voters make the decisions that affect us all. I actually want every one of you to vote. But, I want you to care enough to be informed before you do it. If even 10% of those of voting age were well informed, they could make a difference in our future, our state, our communities and our country. 

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