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Better to punt than be wrong

Michelle over at the IPMI has penned a very good piece on voting. She rightly comments that is it our civic duty to vote. She then opines that we need to be kind and proceeds to note that it is possible to disagree but still be civil and friends. She likens it to sports. It’s a good analogy. But…

I sometimes wonder if voting for voting’s sake is a good idea. What if your vote is wrong? I particularly wonder about judges. I mean how can you possibly know whether a person running for judge is qualified, fair, honorable, or simply an ego maniac looking for a day job. You have never heard them speak; you have never even had someone you trust tell you how to vote. (And the recommendations of the local newspaper does not count.) What if your vote is wrong?

Unless you are a political or news junkie, how can you possibly follow all the ins and outs of a campaign. I watched exactly two minutes of the debate last night and caught each candidate in a lie. Now what?

Voting is serious business. Just because someone has an “R” or a “D” after their name doesn’t mean anything. And we simply cannot rely on the media to give us any information, good or bad. They are as biased as the candidate themselves.

You might say that the incumbent is bad, so you will vote for the outsider. But, what if the outsider is worse.

Some take the position that you should vote based on what someone has done, not what they say. But how do you realistically know what they have done? Have you studied the record? Have you read the tens of thousands of pages and then sifted the wheat from the chaff?

I voted a week ago and then found some information that would have changed my vote for a certain proposition. Fortunately, my ballot was returned to me by my next door neighbor as the mail person had delivered it to her. I tore it up and will vote in person. But consider the last few sentences. Is mail in balloting such a good idea? Will your vote be counted? Shouldn’t we all wait to vote until all the information is in?

Yes, Michelle, it is our civic duty to vote. And also our civic duty to be knowledgeable. But sometimes (like the judges) that’s impossible. We should vote, but know what we are voting for.

Frankly I don’t know what I’m saying. I can only say that for me, if I don’t have a strong opinion about a person or a ballot proposal, I don’t check that box. And frankly, there are a lot of empty boxes on my ballot. Better to punt than be wrong.

JVH

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