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Election Day’s tomorrow

November 6, 2006

Attn: all

Election Day’s tomorrow, and you should make it a point to go out and vote. If you are registered to vote, but hesitant because you don’t feel like you know enough about the candidates to make an informed (aka meaningful) decision, don’t make this the reason you don’t go to the polls. There are a number of ways to quickly educate oneself about those running for office and ballot measures.

The first is your local newspaper, which tomorrow will (no matter where you’re at) run an election guide, detailing all the races and measures, and (usually) indicating whom and which the paper endorses. If you trust your paper, there’s nothing wrong with following its lead.

The second is your state’s board of elections, which usually publishes a voter’s guide, similarly detailing all the races and measures, but offering no endorsements. To find your state’s board of elections (which can also tell you where your designated polling site—aka, where you vote—is), just search online for “[your state’s name] board of elections.”

Third is the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan, nationwide organization that works to educate the public about those running for office and initiatives on the ballot in your area. I’m not sure if every state’s chapter of the League does this, but New York’s publishes a fine, nonpartisan voter’s guide—which is available here. (That’s a link to the PDF.) To find your state’s chapter of the League, go here.

In summary: find something to read about the elections, print it out, and go over it tonight, making your choices for tomorrow, before you go to bed. You don’t have to be a political scholar to feel informed enough to vote; you just have to do a little homework, get up and make it to the polls.

And, quickly, to those who still ask, “Why vote?” Because, as former Secretary of the Treasury William E. Simon said, “Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote.”

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