Women earned the right to vote in the United States of America in 1920.  That was after the United Kingdom, Russia, Sweden, Scotland, New Zealand, Belgium, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Latvia, Poland, Estonia, Belarus, Luxemburg and Ukraine.  Talk about coming late to the party!

Still, women have been turning out to vote more than men since the eighties. We spend time learning about the major candidates for Congress, the Presidency, even City Council.  Yet, how many of us know what a Constable does—or how to tell if a candidate would be a good choice for the office? 

It goes without saying that you can’t believe everything you read.  I am saying it anyway because we need to be reminded of that fact when it comes to voting.  YOU CAN’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ.  Especially when we are making choices that affect our freedom and well-being.

We all hear about candidates who run for major offices, but what about the lesser-known local offices?  How do I know what to look for in a Constable or a Justice of the Peace?  The Voters Guide provides information about candidates and helps voters make informed choices on Election Day.

If only it were as simple as picking up THE voter’s guide.  There are many voter guides out there.  You can choose a guide that is focused on candidates with a singular set of beliefs, you can choose an impartial, unedited guide, or you can choose something in between. 

It is important to determine what is most important to you, promoting leaders who believe the same things you do, or choosing candidates who are best suited to the job they will be doing.  Once you have set your priorities, you can easily find a voter guide to help you in selecting your favorite candidates.

Some guides in North Texas are published by what appear to be groups with a benign agenda, like the DFW Conservative Voters based in Arlington.  They distribute a green postcard during the Republican Primaries, promoting “the most conservative candidates on the ballot in the Republican primary in Tarrant County, Texas.”  When you visit their web site, you find that the “voters” are a married couple who primarily promote candidates who agree with them on personal religious ideals. 

Other guides promote candidates who are “progressive” but what does that actually mean to the authors of the guide?  Is it the same definition you would use?

The most impartial, unedited guide I found is the League of Women Voters guide, which is available online.  You simply type in your address, and it pulls up information about all of the offices you would need to vote for, and candidate profiles.  These profiles are in the words of the candidate, so you can be sure you are getting the information the candidate wants you to receive.  No editing or off-center agenda to get in the way.

Let’s remember this election season how delicate our democracy is, how wonderful it is to be free, and that each vote we cast, no matter how minor the office may be, is a selection for the future of our nation, our families, and ourselves.  It’s not just black or white; Democrat or Republican: it’s American!!!







Contact Alyson at alysfarm@gmail.com

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