Don’t be the Victim of Stranger Danger
Posted on July 12, 2012 by Amanda Beals
This year we have the opportunity to choose new leaders for our state and country. These people will spend the next few years making decisions that will affect the way we live every single day. When I think about it, I feel amazed at the amount of power we have as voters over this process. I think a lot of us don’t realize what the power of our vote really means. It is easy to be discouraged when policymakers in Jefferson City or Washington D.C. make decisions that we don’t agree with. Sometimes I even feel as if those policymakers don’t care about me as a woman, a taxpayer, or an ally in the disability community.
Each Election year, though, I am reminded that I have the opportunity to vote someone into office who I think will do a good job. I can choose people who understand my needs and agree with me on the way to handle important issues in our community.
Unfortunately, I worry that many of us do not take full advantage of this process. There are hundreds of candidates running for local, state, and federal offices. Many of us do not take the time to get to know these candidates, find out where they stand on issues that are important to us, and make a truly informed vote. We run the risk that I like to call Stranger Danger. When we do not really know who we are voting for and what they stand for, we are putting a lot of trust and power into the hands of strangers. I wouldn’t trust a stranger to handle my healthcare or guide my future children down an educational path to success. So why do we allow ourselves to vote for people that we really know very little about to handle these decisions for our state and country?
It’s not hard to find out more about your local candidates. Many non-profit organizations put out non-partisan Voter Guides to help voters become more familiar with their candidates. Check out Paraquad’s State Primary Voter Guide here. If you do not find your local candidates in this guide, don’t be discouraged! Many candidates have their own website which outlines what their priorities are and how they will make decisions. If your candidate does not mention the issues that are important to you, call them or email them and find out what they care about and what they want to accomplish as a legislator.
These are the people that you are giving your power to as a voter to make the best decisions for us. You deserve to know what decisions they are going to make before you give them that power. This Election year, don’t be a victim of Stranger Danger! Do your research and use your vote wisely.