Wednesday, November 2, 2016

10 Commandments for the American Voter

Several weeks ago I published an article entitled "Pentecostals and Secular Politics."  If you have not read that article as yet, I would encourage you to do so by clicking HERE.

To my international readers, there's no doubt that you have at least heard of the commotion in the United States in regard to the upcoming General Election.  Most of this uproar hinges on the Presidential race between Donald Trump (Republican), Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and various other third party candidates (Johnson - Libertarian, Setin - Green, etc.)  While this brief article is geared more specifically to the United States General Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, many of the principles contained herein are applicable anywhere a system exists whereby a free people may chose their leaders by election.

To my readers in the United States especially, I hope you will take time to examine these 10 Commandments for the American Voter.

1. Obtain a sample ballot from your County Clerk, Board of Elections or other providing agency. This will provide you with the most basic tool necessary to research the candidates and the issues.

2) Research all races; not just the ones you are interested in.

3) But if, like far too many voters, you're only interested in voting for one particular race (President, Senator, etc.), DON'T VOTE AT RANDOM DOWN BALLOT. Leave the other sections BLANK rather than voting randomly. Your vote for other candidates and issues will still be counted.

4) Remember ballot initiatives, constitutional amendments and propositions. Your ballot is often far more than just a list of names. Research these measures and vote accordingly. DON'T VOTE AT RANDOM ON THESE ISSUES. Leave any section BLANK rather than voting randomly.

5) Take your sample ballot with you on Election Day as a reminder of exactly how you have decided to vote. Be sure and inform the Election Judge that you are doing so.

6) When at all possible, choose a paper ballot rather than using an electronic voting machine. If a paper ballot is not readily available, ask for one. If one is not immediately provided, wait. If one is not provided in a timely manner, contact the County Clerk or Board of Elections BEFORE leaving your polling place.

7) If you spoil your ballot (mark a candidate or proposition option you didn't intend to) DO NOT submit it. Immediately take your ballot to the Election Judge and request a new ballot.

8) Find your polling place before election day. Your precinct should be listed on your Voter's Registration Card. If you have any doubt in regard to where you should cast your ballot, contact your County Clerk or Board of Elections.

9) In some States you are given the option of voting "straight party" meaning one "check" at the top of the ballot automatically assumes your intent to vote for all candidates of a single party. Do not take this option. Take the time to vote for each candidate individually. Sometimes the more qualified individual for a particular office might not be one from your particular political party of choice.

10) SHOW UP ON ELECTION DAY (TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8TH). Remember, it is your RIGHT to vote. Furthermore, as an American, it is your duty. You have no right to complain about the political process if you're never involved in it. Much blood has been shed and many lives lost in order to preserve, protect and defend your Constitutional right to vote. As an American Citizen, you owe it to yourself, your family, your community, your State and your Nation to turn out on Election Day. Don't buy the lie that says it doesn't really matter. It does matter. A RIGHT NOT EXERCISED IS A RIGHT THAT WILL BE LOST!

ONLINE RESOURCES - A database of State and National candidates and their positions (when available). - A database of sample ballots.  (Please note that your ballot might not be available here.  You should still contact your County Clerk or Board of Elections to obtain a sample ballot.) - A side-by-side summary chart of the 4 main Presidential Candidates and their positions on 75 issues. - Find your polling place using Google by entering your address.

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