Get Out the Vote

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A former State Senator, Allen Kukovich, gave a non-partisan (non-biased; not siding with one party) speech about encouraging voter registration. Now is a better time than any to do that kind of encouraging. The current election is drawing so much attention that I don't see how anyone could feel apathetic towards it. Even those people who may not have a preferance of either candidate or just do not not want either candidate in office, then they can at least register to vote. Voting is one thing but registering to vote also includes the primaries which is extremely important in choosing the Presidential candidates (that is, if you register democrat or republican). The senator didn't focus on the primary elections obviously because of the bigger picture. But I think voting in the primaries is almost more crucial than voting for president. We, as Americans, get the oppurtunity to elect someone (which essentially, but not realisticaly, could be anyone) to have the chance to become our next leader. That is so important in itself. Those who choose not to vote in this election because of the choice of candidates, probably did not vote in the primaries. Now obviously someone's vote in the primaries may not end up being a choice on the big ballot. Nevertheless, I reiterate Senator Kukovich in saying that this is a democracy of the people, and as the people we need to support our system and vote.

At first I thought the senator was going off topic when he talked for a while about the current issues. He discussed education, taxes, healthcare, etc. But then I realized that these issues are important on choosing a candidate to vote for. In order to vote, we should know where each candidate stands on these national issues and whether or not we agree with their plans of action to address these issues. He mentioned that everyone who votes should be educated; that we don't want uneducated people voting for our president. This is something that the framers were also concerned about when they were forming our government. That is why they created the Electoral College, which proved to be significant in the 2000 election between Bush and Gore. But how can we expect everyone to be "educated" when the media coverage we recieve can generally be misleading and inaccurate.

To help this problem in a small way, I have volunteered under a group organization called Students for Barack Obama to encourage people in the community to vote. I went canvasing from door to door handing out voter registration packets and talking a little bit about the candidates (mostly talking up Obama). People really responded and already either knew who they were voting for or were thankful for some information from both sides. Our student group is also trying to make aware the GOTV concept. This stands for Get Out The Vote. It is basically a large organization that provides material and information for  the voting process and again, encourages people to vote.

It was nice to hear this from an actual senator rather than the usual government teacher. It was also nice that it was non-partisan. I think that makes people more willing to participate and listen to what he has to say about it. 

So whether you are Democrat or Republican, for Barack or McCain or maybe not sure, vote anyway!   


Jed Fetterman said:

I think the problem with the primary system is the lack of unity. In the general election, everyone will vote on Nov. 4, but the primaries are spread out over almost five months. I know that I did not vote in the primaries this year because I felt that both parties had already tacitly chosen their candidates.
I also do not agree with your support of the Electoral College. I feel that it raises the interests and voice of the group above that of the individual, which I object to on philosophical grounds. If I am voting to have my voice heard, why should it be put in the same category as the other 2 million people's voices in Pennsylvania?

David Wilbanks said:

I agree that its good to encourage voting in general, especially if its done in a bipartisan way. I especially agree that its important to educate voters. In many cases I feel that efforts to encourage voting don't really just want you to vote. They want you to vote for their guy. Lot's of these campaigns tend to focus on people who are unaware of issues, and are easily manipulated.
At least in the last fifty years its moved closer to an honest, bipartisan effort to get people to vote. The time of sending thugs into the slums to round up some extra voters tends to be a thing of the past.
As far as the electoral college goes, I tend to agree with Jed. Philosophically, popular votes tend to appeal to me more. Pragmatically, they'd be a bit simpler to do. It would also force candidates to appeal to voters in non-battle ground states. However, this would also remove a lot of the strategy from politics, making it a less interesting sport.
As far as the primary goes, I think it would probably be a lot more fun to get rid of the 2-party system. Remove that little D, R or I (which defines you as unelectable) next to a candidate's name from the ballot would be a lot of fun. That would give all those uneducated people who vote constantly the added challenge of trying to figure out which names sounds more "republican."

Anne Williams said:

Ha thanks Dave. Yeah I have to say that sadly I think a lot of non educated people in terms of politics would probably go off of looks and name alone if there was no party affiliation. But I mean I was there once too. I didnt get into this stuff until my junior year of high school. Before that I only knew about elections and so forth from my parents perspective.
Also I just wanted to clear up to you and Jed and that I think I made it sound as though I was for the electoral college but really I am more for the popular vote myself. I think I was saying that the electoral college vote in the Bush election proved tp work, in a sarcastic way. I was not happy about it in other words. And that is probably the only time it will come down to it. So help me God if that is what happens this year!

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Anne Williams on Get Out the Vote: Ha thanks Dave. Yeah I have to
David Wilbanks on Get Out the Vote: I agree that its good to encou
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