Monday, November 6, 2006

Blind and Dumb Voting

So, I have a little gripe here. I recently moved to a new apartment, and finally registered to vote in the state of NY in the first week of October, several weeks ahead of the deadline. I have received a confirmation by mail that I am registered, complete with polling location and instructions. What I haven't receive yet is any kind of information regarding what the hell is on the ballot.

So, I think, "Well, I can certainly find some official ballot information on one of the city or state websites. Easy enough." Wrong. Dead wrong. After an hour of searching, I could not find any detailed voting information on these "official" websites. Oh, sure, I found voter registration information up the wazoo (am I the only one who uses that word anymore?) But I could find NOTHING that told me about the candidates or ballot measures- not their names and not what they stood for (or against).

How the hell does the government expect me to vote if I have no idea what I am voting on??? That either results in a) people getting so frustrated they don't vote (bad), or b) people getting so frustrated they go in and vote all one party because that is the only criteria they understand (very, very bad!). I am not normally one to get paranoid about things, but this is an awful sign about the state of our state and nation.

After digging through several Google pages, I finally happened upon this wonderful site:

"Thousands of candidates and elected officials. Who works for you? Who is seeking your vote? Project Vote Smart, a citizen's organization, has developed a Voter's Self-Defense System to provide you with the necessary tools to self-govern effectively: abundant, accurate, unbiased and relevant information. As a national library of factual information, Project Vote Smart covers your candidates and elected officials in five basic categories: biographical information, issue positions, voting records, campaign finances and interest group ratings. What would you like to know? Access our library of information through either the menu on the left hand side or the links above."

You can enter your full zip code and the website will give you full information about the candidates and ballot measures. I cannot wait to get started.

Now it's your turn. Go. Learn. Vote. Make a difference.

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