‘Tis the Season . . . for Politics
‘Tis the Season . . . for Politics
As the political debates continue and the increase in ads and campaign fervor builds, you’re probably thinking of shutting off your devices and hibernating. I certainly don’t blame you; it’s an onslaught of information that can actually make choosing a candidate a headache and make even the desire to vote diminish. However, we all know that if we’re interested in issues and the future of our nation, voting is essential. So, how do we forge ahead?
If you’re not registered to vote yet, remember that you may be able to complete your registration at the DMV office when you go to renew your driver’s license. Although Iowa doesn’t have online registration, the national form with specific state information is also available here: http://www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx
The silver lining of the intensity of Iowa voting, is that on campus there are plenty of people who are eager to talk about their candidates and help you get signed up to vote. But, if you’re thinking that’s too intense of an approach, consider absentee voting. For more information about avoiding the election polls while still casting your vote, check out: http://sos.iowa.gov/elections/electioninfo/absenteeinfo.html
Before you vote though, you may still have questions about which candidate fits your interests the best. I am personally registered as an independent, but as a feminist, I have consistently voted for Democrats because this party and individuals align with my desire for equitable opportunities and health choices for women and the LGBTQIA community, as well as my passion for environmental issues. Specific concerns like gun control, immigration, Obamacare, and how to handle domestic, economic, and foreign policy issues have also led me to lean toward specific candidates. Before making my final decision, I’ve been paying attention to the televised debates and campaign websites, including https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/ and https://berniesanders.com/issues/.
Despite my clear bias, voting is private and entirely your decision. When judging candidates, along with looking at where they stand on issues, you may also look at the experience and qualities you’re interested in seeing in a president as well as success in televised debates or other platforms. Additionally, thinking about who endorses or contributes to their campaigns and how truthful or ethical their responses and advertisements are may be beneficial. For example, http://www.politifact.com, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, fact-checks statements from candidates (using a fun and easily understood Truth-O-Meter) and provides information about the reason behind the rating.
If you’re not sure where to start, voting quizzes may help you begin to think about where you stand on certain issues and which ones matter the most. The terms used and the candidates’ stances can then lead you to additional research, including actual quotes and how they voted when these issues came up in the past. Two popular quizzes and sites are the following:
Demonstrate your concerns, address your needs, and fight for those who are not allowed your same rights by voting, whether it’s for local, presidential, or all elections. Remember that when you vote you are letting your voice be heard, speaking your mind and standing up for what matters to you and others. What you vote for and who you vote for can change your community and nation, impacting the future for yourself and those around you.
by Sarah C