Last month I sat with a friend who lamented on the current state of American politics. I emphatically agreed and mentioned the upcoming midterm election to which she replied that she knew nothing of these elections and that sound you just heard is that of my heart breaking as I re-tell this tale. Though it’s high time that I am honest with myself and say that no one gives a damn about these elections. In fact Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post just wrote a piece titled: “The election is in 29 days. No one cares.” I, of course, care as do the infamous Beltway insiders and Nancy Pelosi really REALLY cares but on the whole the average American is more concerned about Ebola than they are about the direction of this country and it makes me a little sad. Anyway, during our lunch I told this friend that I would whip up a little something regarding the midterm elections. Something I have been meaning to do for weeks but have I mentioned that I’m in Spain? Because I AM IN SPAIN. I cannot say that enough.
WHO: The entire House of Representatives and one third of the Senate are being elected this coming November in addition to 37 Governors (you can see all states with gubernatorial races here). The American public, i.e. YOU. Yes, you, get to decide. Please vote. Nothing annoys me more than people who complain about politics and then refuse to vote because it takes up time or it’s boring or they have no idea what’s going on. Please don't be that person.
WHAT: VOTE. VOTE. VOOOOOTE.
WHERE: The League of Women Voters has vote411.org where you put in your address and the site tells you the last date to register to vote in your state, the last day to vote via absentee ballot and the location of your polling place. You don’t have to sign up or give a blood oath. It’s all very easy which is exactly how democracy should be.
WHEN: Tuesday, November 4th. I’ve been counting down the days for months but I’m a dork. Mark it down.
WHY: Because it’s important? Because we want to avoid another government shutdown? Because you want your voice heard? Because it is next to impossible for Congress to get anything done as is and perhaps a shake-up is in order? Because we have this amazing power to be a part of our national political system, one that others died for and so we should use it? I don’t know what issues are important to you and that is something that you will have to decide for yourself what I can tell you is where to you can learn about what matters to you, your family and your community.
HOW: Not how to vote but how to find out about the candidates, who is running, who your member of congress is and more on the issues that might be of importance to you.
You can find your member of the House of Representatives here and your Senator here.
You can find who is on the ballot, whether or not you live in an area with a highly competitive race and follow some excellent coverage.
Is your elected representative helpful when it comes to reproductive choice?
How about on education issues?
Is climate change important?
Or maybe work/life policy?
Or maybe you like the second amendment?
Whatever speaks to you, whatever you think needs fixing in this country, whatever you want to see changed or improved, going forward is all up to you. At the risk of sounding like a broken record just vote. VOTE. VOTE.