Monday, November 03, 2008

Early Voting, Vote Prep, & Another Oddity

Every year there seems to be a bigger hype about early voting than the previous year. I think voting is one of the most important things one can do as a citizen, but I don't early vote, nor do I like early voting. If it were up to me, I would abolish early voting and instead have two days of voting (Monday and Tuesday), a longer lead time to send out absentee ballots (for those overseas - domestic voters would have no change), and theater-wide electronic voting (for our overseas troops) that could be electronically beamed back to the U.S.A. on election day.

There are several reasons I dislike early voting as it now is: the long lines are key, also, the fact that some item may be revealed about a candidate in the last few days (thus, negating support for a candidate by a voter) is another. This is not to say I would not vote early; if there were any chance of me missing an opportunity to vote on election day, I would probably vote early rather than fill out an absentee ballot.

One of the main reasons I don't early vote is due to the fact that few of the voter guides I read are completed prior to election day. Which means, unless I want to do all of the research on all of the candidates myself, I'm voting in ignorance. This year, in particular, voting in ignorance could have been bad.

In the past I have voted by issues first, and then, if there weren't any issues of interest to me, I would vote for whatever Independent or Republican I liked the most. (Typically, Democrats in south Florida are left-wing Liberals, Tree Huggers, or Socialists, none of which appeals to me. Also, most of the Republicans and Independents promote conservative or libertarian values, both of which appeal to me.)

One of the local races I can vote in this year has proved to be an exception. There are three people running, none are Libertarians or Republicans. The incumbent is a liberal Democrat -- I haven't voted for her since I moved to south Florida (14 years ago). One of the two challengers is an avowed, hard-line Socialist; people with those political leanings disgust me, so I'll definitely not be voting for him. The other challenger is listed as an "Independent." I initially thought she was a Libertarian, but her endorsements seemed a bit odd. After further investigation, I realized she is a hard-line, far left, socialistic environmentalist! Two Socialists and one liberal Democrat in one race!

As you can probably guess, I'll be voting for the liberal Democrat. This particular race brought to mind a passage of scripture:
Jeremiah 12:7-11 "I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies. Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it. Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour. Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart."

In closing, I talked to an individual last week that had an interesting, albeit jaundiced, view of politics in the U.S.A. It was this individual's contention that for those who are Believers voting is:
1. irrelevant (because "God's Will" will be done anyway),
2. unnecessary (because it is "of the government"), and
3. sinful (because we really shouldn't be involved in any part of government).

I disagreed. Voting is a right afforded to all citizens of this country. If I, as a citizen of this country, choose not to exercise a right, then that is my privilege. If however, I, as a citizen of heaven choose not to exercise a right that could enable me to have a positive influence on my community, or have a Godly testimony to others in my community, or could improve my ability to witness to those around me (by not allowing those into office who seek to curtail my rights as a Believer), then I am committing sins of omission, negligence, apathy, and irresponsibility. I really hope my explanation didn't offend that individual, but I was extremely disappointed by the naiveté of that opinion.

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