A post from guest blogger, Candi Janssen – Campus Director, Minnesota School of Business-Elk River:
Ah, it’s my favorite time of year…crisp fall air, colorful fall leaves and election campaigns.
Yep, you heard me right, I love election season! It started when I was a young girl watching the 1992 presidential debates on TV. While I am not a fan of the slander marketing ads, I appreciate the ability to make a change and have a say in our government. This year is a critical year to get out and vote as we have multiple key state elections as well as the presidential campaign.
Too often I hear people make excuses for why they don’t vote. Those excuses often include statements like, “My vote doesn’t count,” or “I am not sure which party or candidate to vote for.” My goal is to help answer some of those questions and to help you overcome some excuses so you feel confident in casting your vote on November 6, 2012!First of all, EVERY vote counts! Did you know there have been several close elections throughout history that came down to every last vote? In 2000, the campaign between Gore and Bush came down to a single state and only a few hundred votes. JFK won the election over Nixon by .01 of a percent, and Carter wasn’t announced as the winner until the next day because it was so close! Every vote makes an impact on the outcome of the election. This year political analysts predict similar close calls between our presidential candidates.
As a state, we not only have several tight races between candidates taking place, but also a lot of HOT topics on the docket. These topics range from the marriage amendment, to immigration, to the economy. I would recommend checking out several websites that review the topics to help you prepare for what’s on the ballot.
If you are one of those people who don’t typically vote because you don’t know who to vote for or even what political party you side with, you’re not alone—these are big road blocks for many non-voters.
One pointer I’d like to give is that you should know that you don’t have to vote strictly with your party nor do you need to be affiliated with a specific party. If you are unsure of which party represents your views, check out this quiz to help you find out.
Once you have determined which party best represents your political views, check out USA Today’s Candidate Match Game, which can give some insight into what presidential candidate most closely matches your views. The match game will also tell you how the candidates feel about the topics covered, which can be helpful.
Finally, if you’re using any of these excuses, “I am not sure where to vote, I don’t know how to register to vote, or I don’t have time to vote because I work,” after the end of this blog, you won’t be able to use them anymore!
Minnesota is an open registration state, which means you can register the day of the election and still vote! However, if you are ready to register now, click here for information on registering to vote.
If you are unsure of your polling location and hours, click here. You can also usually find this information on your city or township website or visit city hall.
And for those of you who just don’t have time to vote due to work, I encourage you to speak with your employer about their voting policy—many employers offer employees time off to cast their vote.
I hope the tools and resources listed here will overcome any questions or concerns you have about voting in this year’s and future elections. The topics at hand and races are critical to the future of our country; I look forward to seeing you at the polls!
Here are a couple of websites that give general information about upcoming elections:
Live in the Elk River area? Here are your local candidates:
- Elk River area Candidates for MN House
Nick Zerwas ( R) / Holly Neuman (D)
- Elk River area Candidates for MN Senate
Paul Perovich (D) / Mary Kiffmeyer ( R)
- Elk River area Candidates for U.S. House
Michele Bachman ( R) / Jim Graves (D)