The Midterms have crept up quickly. Fortunately, millions of us have already decided who will vote for and even know where to vote. The early voting polls have smashed previous records possibly denoting an uptick in voting patterns and motivation. We will need more than the average 25% to make any changes besides party delineation. But we may need or enjoy just a couple more facts regarding our entire voting system before we actually punch that ballot. This week Political Writes is dedicating the front page to our history of voting articles. These 7 articles will illuminate our voting process. Political education is a must especially in the fake news age. Here you will be able to decide and decipher just how our system has been working, failing and succeeding. On November 6th, 2018 our lives may change such as the color of our community. No, we are not speaking of ethnicity but the short historical reference to Blue or Red. So as a true Chicagoan, vote early and vote often.
As the Midterm elections near, newspaper headlines scream candidate poll results. Coast to coast voters are imbued with the latest polling numbers for candidates from governor to state senator. But do these polls matter to the voters? Few people are affected by polling due to the ubiquitous discussion on their validity. How many people are they really polling (sometimes as little as 300 people), who are they polling (it’s hard to get a concrete definition of 350 million peoples thoughts) and where are they polling (rural vs urban voters is a serious divide)? People vote per their political socialization making their upbringing, careers/jobs, social circle, religion, and current trends in their lives the basis for their votes. The three most important influences appear to be geography, religion and media. Read more here.
There are pros and cons to any endeavor but our power as an electorate is hampered by new election rules every day. If we voted through a phone app could it change America? E-voting could enable broader voting rights, equity in voting, create ease for our aging and disabled voters all the while decreasing the billions in election cycles. Read more here.
Getting back to our voice. Our voices ring loudest when we remind political representatives that our needs are important. We are almost 11% (10.5% to be exact) of the entire working population of America ( BLS, 1/24/2014). That means 6.5 million voices that can contact politicians. Remember us when they are voting on legislation that harms our livelihood. Read more here.
Chicago’s mayoral politics is shaping up to be one of the hottest contests across the nation. Before, Rahm Emmanuel decided to step down there were already 13 people promising to run. Now, we have the Daley Empire back on the rise with brother Bill vowing a mayoral run, Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Democratic Party exploring, and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is back in action. But how are all these people going to get on the ballot? Throughout America there’s multitude procedures to run for office. We will explore procedures for that shot on the ballot from the hyper local to national to follow the progression of how career politicians are created. Read more here.
Why do you vote? Maybe a family tradition. You’re a dedicated party supporter or even an anti-party voter. Either way, it turns out very few Americans elect people to over 511,000 political seats. Voter turnout declines while massive political protests increase across our great nation. The media tends to base their coverage on the top 537 spots-US Congress and the Presidency and Vice Presidency- which have seen lower than normal turnout. Voters continually cite reasons including but not limited to; apathy, lack of trust, unacceptable media exposure, negative campaigns, belief vote doesn’t count and so on. The declining behavior creates excess freedom of will for politicians. If it’s “We the People” than we must vote. Read more here.
As Americans, we pull up our bootstraps and work hard to succeed. We endure low wages, ridiculously bad health care and crime. We save for down payments for houses, college educations and times we may need to take FMLA for aging parents. We create neighbor networks from years of communicating and networking. A few of us will receive job promotions after years of hard work, training and creating good relationships with co-workers. Years of planning and studying are used to make even minute decisions. Why don’t political campaign leaders understand this? Read more here.
Have you ever voted for the better of two evils? Both candidates in an election didn’t really connect with you. Regardless of party, candidates are all trying to run “middle of the road”. The middle of the road may seem like it appeals to all but it doesn’t. During elections, especially presidential, campaigners focus upon the swing voters.
Those voters that will vote for the issues, not the party. Research from Michigan State University found these voters have declined from 15% in the 1960’s to 5% today. At the same time Independent voters have risen. The only difference between a swing and an Independent voter to campaigners is none. Campaigners and poll watchers
monitor these voters the same since they obscure party affiliation stability. If Americans truly feel they don’t have a home in one of the party, what is our future at the polls? Read more here.