Thursday, September 21, 2006

I drink AND vote responsibly

I spent some time today on the NJ Division of Elections website figuring out how to confirm I’m a registered voter (99% sure – I have been voting, but you never know), find out how to change my address and how to register Mike. Mike voted in the 2004 presidential election. I was so proud of him. Then he got a letter in the mail six months ago reminding him he should register to vote. Woops.

So I got it all together and confirmed I’m a voter and confirmed the contact and address for all the forms and filled them out and had trouble checking a box for my political party affiliation. Do I write Democrat, check the box that I wish to be an unaffiliated voter or check the box that says No, I do not wish to declare a political party affiliation at this time? I checked the latter and then went to the top of the form and checked the box for Political Party Affiliation or Nonaffiliation change in addition to the address change box. (I don’t know for sure but I assume I wrote Democrat upon registering several years ago.)

So that’s that. Next step, figuring out who’s running and what for. Common knowledge? No, not in the least especially for someone who works in Philadelphia and often forgets she’s not voting in that election. I know nothing of NJ politics and apparently, googling something like “New Jersey 2006 Elections” doesn’t yield clear results. The best link listed in the results was that of Wikipedia. What a cool source of information.

I soon learned that Thomas Kean, Jr. (R) is taking on Bob Menendez (D) for the Senate seat. I could tell whomever wrote the information was clearly not unbiased. This person was voting for Menendez. Although I am too, I couldn’t leave it at that and was compelled to venture to both candidates’ personal sites and read up on how they stand on issues.

I feel confidant now in my decision and can support the questions why I dislike or support one or the other in a conversation. That’s key, right? One should be able to answer why they dislike the other guy other than because he’s a Republican.

I found out fast that D and R doesn’t mean that much. I think that’s why I checked the box that I don’t want to choose right now what party I support. Depending on who runs in ’08, I may very well be voting Republican.

But enough of that, the point is that there is a sort of comfort in being responsible and making the important changes which affect census and stats and GOVERNMENT. I’m glad I took the time to figure this out and yeah, it’s not easy to just figure out. It takes a little research, a little time, and a little desire to want to help make a difference.
Or keep your state pro-choice and gay friendly. AKA open-minded.

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