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The very last thing I did last night was to review all my notes and research about the local candidates. The very first thing I did this morning was to vote.  This was the first primary election with the Top Two Candidates System for the local candidates and as a declared Independent Voter it was a delight to see all the candidates available listed on my ballot. The voters decide which candidates will be up for election in the General Election in November and they may be from the major two parties or from the same parties, such as Democrat against Democrat or Constitution Party against Constitution Party; those candidates who get the top 2 positions will work to get elected in November.

I think my State puts out a good voter’s pamphlet and I especially like it in the computer zone, because all of the candidates have listed their email addresses I can send them an email.  I sent 5 of the candidates a question that was important to me and was requesting information that I could not glean from their position site or find in my research of their past endeavors for the state.  Those who have been judges before or State officials before have an online history of their efforts and I can choose an area of concern for me and look up their experience and public records.  A couple of the candidates came to my door when I was home and I could get my criteria card out and ask them questions first hand.  In my case, I think coming to my door is an advantage to the candidate and this year all who knocked received my vote.  On the email question, I received 3 replies and requests for campaign funds from all five candidates or their staff writers.  I was also referred to a wonderful report card about the fire levy part of the election process which displayed exactly how the funds had been spent in past years and what was the intended plan for this levy.

I spent another period of time looking at other counties in the state and how candidates seemed to be looking into the top five issues of our Voters.  The county with the highest high school dropout rate, the county with the highest teen pregnancy rate, the county with the highest unemployment rate, the county with the best “green” record all had interesting candidates too, but only one of the candidates in all those counties addressed their county’s biggest issues and then I found the candidate’s statements to be nothing fresh or creative.  It was fascinating to see how ads for the state level positions were so completely different depending on which side of the state you were from.  This getting elected business is a very scientific affair and nothing is left to chance – good luck to the little fellow who would like a turn.

I did also interview several folks who had worked for these candidates and sought out their ideas.  After all this,   I reviewed my notes and slept on my choices.  Part of my criteria is trying to look at the position from differing angles and lenses, even though this effort is surrounded by my perceptions and history, I attempt to put the vote into the perspective of what is best for the State and the Future of the State than what is best for me – first.

I do all this because I want my vote to count and I know that 90% of the voter’s vote by what ad they hear or read which has been repeated numerous times and something resonated with them and thus they make their choice.  This makes me sad because I wish people knew more of their history and civics and cared more about how their government worked.  So I am working on getting folks to at least vote and to counter balance those who say their vote doesn’t matter.

Now those who say that all of my efforts to make my vote count take up too much time, well, I say to that, just turn off the TV for about 30 minutes a day and look around, find out what is actually going on and who is in charge now.  I spent 30 minutes a day for 7 days and I think I had enough information gathered to make good choices.

Hey! The postal worker just came and took my ballot out of the mailbox – so I am on my way to casting my vote.  I hope you will vote and make an informed decision.

I also refer you to the archived post about how people make decisions: How We Make Decisions and Changes

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