I vow to be an informed voter

I have a confession. I vote, but sometimes when I go to the polls, I don’t know all of the candidates on the ballot. I try to be informed, but it’s a lot of work, and I have a lot of mom stuff to do.

I am sure that I am not the only mom (or dad, or voter) who has this problem. When I see the “vote for me” signs all over town, I think to myself, “I need to figure out who I want to vote for.” And then I get home and get caught up in the kids, dinner, homework, sports practices, and even a little Netflix (I’m being honest). I forget all about doing the research, until the next day when I drive past the campaign signs again. I make the same mental commitment to go home and research, but I end up struggling with the same distractions. It’s a vicious cycle.

But, since I made a New Year’s resolution to learn more about politics, this time it’s going to be different. I am going to learn all I can about the candidates and go to the polls with confidence. I will share what I learn, so hopefully I can help you become an educated voter, too. It is a big process, so I will start with the easy (but important) questions.

Step One:

  • What day do I vote?

Since Google knows nearly everything, I began with a search of “upcoming elections in Idaho.” IdahoVotes.gov was the second result (after Wikipedia). I clicked on it and began with the tab “important dates for voters.” November 7 came up. The problem with this date, is that Idaho is a predominantly Republican state. While the November 7 general election is important, a large majority of the candidate selections can happen in the primary elections.

So, I decided to search for a better site that would tell me more about the primary elections. My second search led me to the Idaho Secretary of State website. This website is very informative and gave a thorough explanation of the reason and purpose of primary elections. Because I was still in search of the basic information (when do I vote?), I followed a link at the bottom of the page entitled elections page. After scrolling through the entire calendar, I was able to find the primary elections date (Yea!)… May 15 (now we can all put it on our calendars).

Step Two:

  • Where do I vote?

I went back to ask google (the Secretary of State website didn’t have a tab for that), and found the right page on the first try! This Idaho votes page lets you input your address and then tells you your polling location (Yea again!).

Ok, I feel like I have accomplished something. Now my kids need me to read them a book (and maybe I need myself some Netflix). In my next post, I will sleuth more information and blog about it.

Melanie Flake

Melanie Flake

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday