Monday, November 5, 2012

Election 2012: How Do I Get Informed?

I live in Missouri, so most of this information will be focused on my state. For my out of state friends though, some of the links might help you with Presidential and Congressional candidates. In this era, there really is no reason to arrive at your polling place uninformed on the candidates, judges, or ballot issues. So, do your research, get informed, and go vote on November 6th.

I have been finding many different websites for information. Some have better information on certain candidates, while some have better information on other candidates. I can't seem to find one site that is the best on all of the candidates, judges and issues. Although, the 97.1 FM Talk (Local STL Radio Station) site has great candidate lists for the Congressional offices in both the Senate and House, they only cover the two main party Presidential candidates. They also don't seem to have anything on judges or the propositions. No worries, though, I have found other websites which will provide you information for those.

A couple of weeks ago my pastor posted a short list of how to approach the process of informed voting. Shockingly, the first item on the list was something I had suggested on my Facebook wall only a few days prior. Stands to reason though, as that one thing is the only reasonable place to start. Here’s the list, with my additions:

Sample Ballot: When you are preparing to vote, it is best to start by finding your sample ballot, so you know on what issues and candidates you will be voting. Then you will not waste your time becoming overly informed on an issue or candidate who is not on your ballot. If you are registered to vote in Missouri, you can locate a "Sample Ballot" for your polling place at this website link. If you are not registered to vote in Missouri, I would suggest checking your state's Secretary of State website or conduct an internet search using your state's name followed by "sample ballot November 2012".

Study: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." - 2 Timothy 2:15 Learn about the candidates, judges and ballot initiatives. Study the person. Find out as much as you can about who they are. Look at their past performance. Find out where they stand on the issues, especially the Constitutional ones if they are a candidate for federal office. This is where the links I have provided below are important. Please use them and share them. Share this blog post.

Pray: Seek God on each candidate, judge and ballot initiative. We are to seek Him continuously in prayer, including on how we vote. Our faith should be center to our lives and guide our votes. God’s Word says in Roman 13:1 - “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Since the candidates WILL BE appointed by God, then it is best to seek Him with regard to the wisdom behind each vote we cast.
If you’re like me, then you may even stay up late on Tuesday night attempting to keep score as the results come in. If so, then you will find an Election Day Scorecard at this linkIf you have any questions regarding the links provided below or other election information, please don’t hesitate to ask me. And may the Best Men and Women Win!!!

Helpful Election Information Links:

League of Women Voters: Everyone can use this site, no matter which state you live in. You can build your ballot with their online voters' guide! Type in your address to see the races on your ballot. Candidates' positions can be compared side-by-side, and you may print out a "ballot" indicating your preferences as a reminder and take it with you to the polls on Election Day.

FM Talk 97.1's List of Candidates: President, All US House and Senate, All Missouri State offices and Illinois House and Senate office.

Missouri Secretary of State Candidate List: A comprehensive list of candidates on Missouri ballots, including Presidential Candidates, Congressional Candidates, State Office Candidates and Judges.

Missouri Judicial Elections: For all of you, like me, who never know what to do with the votes on judges - Now there is this website, which is very informative and well designed.

Missouri Secretary of State's State-wide Ballot Issues: A comprehensive list of state-wide only ballot issues, including State Constitutional Amendment 3, Proposition A, Proposition B, and Proposition E. This page includes the "Official Ballot Language" and the "Fair Ballot Language" (which tells you exactly what a "Yes" or "No" vote means) and links to the full text of each measure.

Overall of Missouri State Ballot information: Great Page, Lots of Information provided! Out of state friends can use the home page of this site to locate their state's ballot information.

ALL Missouri Ballot Measures: See the right hand side for a list of counties with measures on their ballot. Out of state friends can use the home page of this site to locate their state and find much of their ballot information.

Saint Louis County Ballot Issues: A list of St. Louis County specific ballot measures. For my friends who live in surrounding counties - You should be able to do a search on this same site for your county to find a list of the ballot measures for your county.

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