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Old October 11, 2010, 01:58 AM   #1
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Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
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Informed electorate

Ok, I'm going to vent a little bit. Mods, not sure if this will be too off-topic, as it is primarily but not solely political.

I'm a defense contractor. I'm filling out my absentee ballot, since I'm overseas. I'd like to be able to make informed decisions while I fill out my ballot. However, on all the non-glamorous elections (IE insurance commissioner, agriculture secretary, board of education, etc) it is next to impossible to find any real information on which to make an educated decision.

I'm very tempted to use the write-in option on some of these, and just say, "not enough info to vote".

How do I exercise my civil right to vote, when the media doesn't bother to publish endorsements for the "minor" races?

Here's the tie-in to 2A / gun rights: Even the NRA and haven't endorsed anybody in the judicial races. How can I try to vote for pro-2A judges, if I don't have the time and resources to study candidates' case histories, and organizations dedicated to this sort of thing don't publish endorsements?

It's extremely frustrating. I try to avoid "party-line" voting, and actually vote based on merits and issues. But sometimes, merits are hidden and issues aren't stated...

And there's the rant.
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Old October 11, 2010, 02:36 AM   #2
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Join Date: November 13, 2006
Posts: 5,249
I applaud you for your approach to your vote.
Here at home we have the same issue around judges.Its hard.
This year,in Colorado,we have a "" page.I believe it is important to make serious choices with the local,grass roots politics.Those are the folks who later sit on the Supreme Court or the Senate.
You got anybody back home can help?
Take care of yourself,

Last edited by HiBC; October 11, 2010 at 02:45 AM.
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Old October 11, 2010, 05:56 AM   #3
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Join Date: November 15, 2007
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People back home, and assistance


Thanks for the interest; I enjoy a fantastic support network. Tight-knit family and friends; the added perk is that all of them are fairly politically aware, and most of them are also pretty well educated.

You can tell when I'm home, because I post on TFL a whole lot less... too many things to do, not enough time, you know? Forum members have to put up with my rants when I'm TDY, typically....

For that matter, the state of Georgia was very good about shipping absentee ballots; a bunch of us got ours several days back, and we still have three weeks for them to get home on time.

I agree with you entirely about grass-roots approaches to things. How does the saying go? "All politics is local." Luckily, local politics in my area are pretty anti-Big Government. This becomes less true as one gets closer to Atlanta, but I live out where the suburbs turn into farmland.

At the state level, Georgia has passed some very gun-friendly laws in recent years. Keeping it that way was one of my concerns in this election. Other concerns included trying to decide which incumbents deserved the venting of my voter's ire, and also a desire to NOT have the two truly politically partisan branches of the government (legislative and executive) all belong to the same party.

One could argue about the judicial and party affiliation, but a few Justices in recent history have turned out to be surprises for the ones who appointed them. Once appointed, the judiciary tends to be more independent-minded than I think a lot of us like to admit, in much the way the framers of the Constitution had intended them to be.

I wish our public school systems did a better job of requiring law and Civics classes, and actually helping turn students into aware and observant voters... but that would be a whole new rant.


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Old October 11, 2010, 08:27 AM   #4
Al Norris
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,546
M, ever since I did that 3+ year survey (at the behest of Mas Ayoob), I've kept an email list on various prosecutors around the State. Here in Idaho, all prosecutors are elected every 4 years. Usually, they will go back into private practice after a stint at public office (but not always).

This allows me to query them about some of our elected Judges. I get answers about what they like about a particular candidate and what they don't like. This perspective is from both the prosecutors side and private practice side.

Since we in Idaho elect our Supreme Court Justices, as well as as our District Magistrates, a statewide perspective often helps.

What I tend to look for is a consensus from both sides (prosecutor v. defense/plaintiff). It tells me that the Judge is fair and consistent in their handling/treatment of cases.

A preponderance of controversial Judgments tells me that the Judge in questions sides more liberal or conservative and that is a bad mark in my eyes.
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Old October 11, 2010, 06:36 PM   #5
Aguila Blanca
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Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 9,728
Originally Posted by MLeake
How do I exercise my civil right to vote, when the media doesn't bother to publish endorsements for the "minor" races?
Why would you rely on a media endorsement for your decision as to how to vote, even for a candidate in a minor position?

The right to vote carries with it the responsibility to inform yourself about the candidates and issues. You can't rely on "the media" -- they are horribly biased and not especially intelligent. "The media" deals in photo ops and sound bites, not thoughtful examination of issues.

If you don't know enough about some local elections to vote, by all means don't vote on those races. But don't blame the electoral board or 'the media" because you don't have any information. Pretty much all candidates are on-line these days. Did you e-mail any of them to request position statements from them? Have you checked out the League of Women Voters for local races?
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