Mid-term election political chatter is building, and I'm working to understand what the issues really mean to us - our state, country, county, city.
Negative, overstated campaigning doesn't make me feel like an informed voter, and I’m not the only one. I have heard over the last many years that voting won’t change anything; that corporate America runs us; that we don’t need regulations or we need more; on and on. As a result, we’ve become a non-voting public, or we vote straight tickets.
Resources exist that provide details, history, and data that give a bigger picture than I get from some of the talking heads: Ballotpedia.org offers detail on incumbents and candidates; usa.gov is loaded with information and data on government agencies, budgets, debt, labor, immigration, taxes, trade, and more. Snopes.com gives background (showing sources) on statements made in the press and on social media; and politifact.com researches statements (showing sources) made in politics. These are accessible and easy enough to get through. I think I’m being informed by someone who doesn’t have so much money in the game and I get more than one side of the issues.
I want to hear as many candidates as I can. It is increasingly important to know what our elected representatives stand for and what candidates are proposing. I’ve already seen the incumbent U.S. Congressman for District 25 in Stephenville. On September 16, his opponent will be at a town hall panel in our courthouse with three other candidates running for state and U.S. house seats. Candidates are appearing all around our part of Texas. Watch for them and go see them when you can. Look at all their sites for their calendars.
We won’t get perfect government, but we can be more fully informed and less polarized. We can get closer to being a working government - the "of, by and for" variety.
Make sure your voter registration shows you’re still on the list at the right address. Check www.votetexas.govwhere you can also register to vote and find out about required IDs. Or, you can call your county registrar. Voting matters. Informed voting will ultimately get us all closer to a government we want.