The first presidential debate was last night and the election season is getting real. As my life this week has largely been taking care of Daniel while he was home with a bad cold (which he was nice enough to share with me), I don’t have much to talk about in terms of my own life. For this reason, I figured I’d do another themed set of quick takes and focus on voting things.
OurTime.Org is my website of choice when it comes to this. They have a list of state election dates and deadlines, links to check your voter registration status, a FAQ answering basic voting questions, and an online process to help you register to vote. They’re non-partisan and their aim is to get young people to get out there and vote.
I love the League of Women Voters site as well. When I entered my address, I got a button for a personalized ballot with my particular candidates and issues, a notification that October 22nd was the deadline to register to vote in California, and a polling place locator. On my ballot was the ability to enter two candidates and compare them. This is an organization that I’ve heard recommended since I was in high school and one where I would go if I had questions on who the candidates in my area were and where they stood.
FactCheck.Org is a place I go when I want to see if a claim made by a candidate is actually true. It is non-partisan and non-profit which means that it’s not skewed toward any particular candidate. They list various falsehoods and exaggerations from both candidates.
FiveThirtyEight is the blog I go to for election news. It has lots of data to crunch, results of opinion polls, and a ton of information that would be great if I actually cared about the minutiae of this particular election.
There is, of course, always the candidate websites. We have MittRomney.Com and BarackObama.Com — any surprises there? I thought not. If your candidate is an incumbent member of the House or Senate, their websites will generally be http://lastname.house.gov or http://lastname.senate.gov — otherwise, you can just do a Google search for them.
There is one Bible verse that I turn to during election season. It’s Romans 13:1: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (NIV) As much as I might strongly disagree with whoever is elected president or senator or House representative, I believe I’m still called to submit to their authority and respect it. This doesn’t mean that I give up my right to petition (as I’m sure my Congressman *really* wishes I’d do) — it means that I accept that God is sovereign in all these things and His will is what is going to happen. I despised George W. Bush and did everything in my power to petition for what I thought should be public policy but I acknowledged that he was the person God put in office. (OK, I did the second time.) I know that there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth among the Quick Takes participants if President Obama is re-elected. Keep in mind, however, that you still have the right to petition your elected officials and that petitioning can frequently result in a change you might want.
And above all, VOTE!!!!! If you complain about the election results and you failed to vote, I will point and laugh at you as well as leaving comments on your blog reminding you of your mistake in not taking part in the electoral process. Your vote is your voice and if you want to be heard, you need to vote. There are very few excuses not to — you can vote by absentee ballot (OurTime.Org will help you with that) and employers are required by law to give their employees time off on Election Day to vote.
For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.