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Early Voting: Week of 10/24: AK, AR, ID, IL,TX, HI, LA, UT, WV, MD, FL, VA

Monday October 24

Tuesday October 25

Thursday October 27

Saturday October 29

 

When you vote, vote the whole ballot. Your down ballot candidates need you. If your state has initiatives or other ballot measures, your input is needed.

If you don’t live in the states above, you can type [“your state name” voting] into Google and get a voting schedule and requirements – BUT CHECK WITH YOUR STATE’S ELECTION OFFICE to make sure that’s the right information. It probably is, but don’t get disappointed.

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Early Voting Week of 10/17: GA, TN, KS, NC,WA, NV

Want to get the 2016 election over with? If you live in one the states below, you likely can thanks to early voting. If you’ve made up your mind, vote this week and get it done:

Monday October 17

Wednesday October 19

  • Tennessee
  • Kansas – In some counties, early voting might be November 1-7

Thursday October 20

Friday October 21

Saturday October 22

 

When you vote, please vote the whole ballot, including initiatives if you have them. With Congress people think about whether you want to aid or hinder the next President in their agenda and vote accordingly.

If you don’t live in the states above, you can type [“your state name” voting] into Google and get a voting schedule and requirements – BUT CHECK WITH YOUR STATE’S ELECTION OFFICE to make sure that’s the right information. It probably is, but don’t get disappointed.

Sign if you agree: The next presidential debate needs to discuss SCOTUS

The first presidential debate did not include a single question about the Supreme Court. Now’s our chance to make sure it is brought up in the next one. It’s vital that perhaps the biggest issue on the ballot this November –the Supreme Court – gets adequate airtime during the first debate.

via Sign if you agree: The next presidential debate needs to discuss SCOTUS

Regardless of which side you fall on, I hope you will ask the moderators of the next debate to ask about the Supreme Court – both in terms of what sort of judge they’d look for and what groups, if any they’d expect to have input into the process.

Five Votes: Why Voting Matters

Last Tuesday we had a primary election in Alaska that demonstrated why it is important to get out and vote in EVERY election. On August 16, 2016, only 15.4% of Alaska’s 515,714 registered voters went to the polls. The election resulted in seven incumbents being ousted out of the Legislature. I leave it to others to debate whether this was a good or bad thing. What I’d like to talk about today is just how close some of the elections were.

  • In House District 38, Representative Bob Herron lost his seat by 260 votes in a race with substantially better turnout (21.7%) than the state average (15.4%).
  • In Senate District D, Representative Lynn Gattis lost her race for Senate by 148 votes in a race with 12.2% turnout.
  • In House District 9, Representative Jim Colver lost his seat by 95 votes in a race with 17.1% turnout.
  • In House District 40, Representative Ben Nageak lost his seat by just FIVE votes (765-760) in a race with 16.8% turnout.

In each of these races, the winning primary challenger will be the new legislator because the other party did not have a primary in that district. The primary election was the general election in these cases and around 80% of voters missed their opportunity to weigh in. A relative handful of voters in any of these races might have changed the outcome.

Extremely light turnout and lack of party competition at the primary level are not unique to Alaska and these factors are having federal effects. As David Wasserman of Five Thirty Eight puts it:

Primaries have become the new general elections — The Cook Political Report currently rates just 37 of 435 House seats as competitive this fall, less than 9 percent of the House. As a result, primary elections have become tantamount to general elections in the vast majority of seats. Because primaries are held on many different dates, they tend to generate less national attention and attract disproportionate shares of hardcore, ideological party activists to the polls.

In 2014, only 14.6 percent of eligible voters participated in congressional primaries — a record low, according to the Center for the Study of the American Electorate. That means a tiny fraction of voters who are the most hardened partisans are essentially electing more than 90 percent of members of Congress. And these low-turnout primaries are often easy prey for ideological interest groups who demand purity.

In Alaska’s most recent election, news media has noted that both major political parties targeted a few of their own incumbents this time around, with mixed results.

This might all sound depressing to you. It did sound depressing to me at first. But we don’t have to accept things as they are. We can make the primary electorate bigger. We can work to put more candidates on the ballot, either in a primary or for a different party. And here in Alaska, we can vote knowing that until we can persuade more of our friends and family to vote, our votes will have outsized influence.

Get off the sidelines this November. Vote. Then keep voting and take your registered friends to the polls in EVERY election. Don’t let another legislator or ballot issue get decided by a handful of votes.

Not sure how to register or vote? Check out this video:

References:

2016 Primary Election Report (Alaska Division of Elections) – http://www.elections.alaska.gov/results/16PRIM/data/results.htm

Voter Registration by Party and Precinct (Alaska Division of Elections)  – http://elections.alaska.gov/statistics/2016/AUG/VOTERS%20BY%20PARTY%20AND%20PRECINCT.htm

Seven incumbents out of Legislature after low-turnout primary by Lisa Demer and Zaz Hollander, Alaska Dispatch News,  8/17/2016 – http://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2016/08/17/seven-incumbents-out-of-the-legislature-after-low-turnout-primary/

The Political Process Isn’t Rigged — It Has Much Bigger Problems by David Wasserman, Five Thirty Eight – http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-political-process-isnt-rigged-it-has-much-bigger-problems/

 

How to Vote in Alaska – Share This Video with All Alaskans!

If you live in Alaska, I want you to share this video with all of your Alaskan friends:

This video was created by the VlogBrothers Hank and John Green. Aside from explaining the voting process here in Alaska, they also link to everything you need to get registered and vote in the primary election.

No matter who is projected to take our three electoral votes, Alaskans should want to vote in this election. Aside from deciding whether Representative Young and Senator Murkowski should return to Congress, a number of state legislative seats are up for election. Also, we’ll be deciding on whether to the Permanent Fund Dividend application to register voters and whether to issue bonds to finance college loans. If you want your voice to be heard, vote!

Voting in Every State

Thanks to VlogBrothers Hank and John Green, I don’t have to cobble together registration and voting information for all 50 states!

I’m going to leave this video and the Alaska specific video at the top of my blog through the November 8th General Election. Check out the video, find out the information for your state, get registered and/or vote!

Voter Registration in Arkansas – Register by October 9th!

Am I registered to vote when I send in my voter registration form?
No, submitting your voter application at a state agency, in a voter registration drive or through the U.S. Postal Service does NOT guarantee your registration. You should follow up on the status of your registration just as you would on any other personal business matter. Before considering yourself a registered voter, you must receive an acknowledgment of your registration from the county clerk.

Unfortunately each Election Day, many would-be first-time voters in Arkansas do not have their votes counted because they are not actually registered to vote. Many believed they had registered months before, but failed to follow up when they did not receive a voter ID card from their county clerk. The process of voter registration is convenient, but it also places responsibility on the registrant to ensure the process is completed.

Follow up on your Voter Registration before election time!

via Arkansas Secretary of State: Voter Registration FAQs

Since the Arkansas voting office is so stern about confirming voter registration, I’m quoting their FAQ.

Further down it says you be be registered 30 prior to the general election to be able to vote. 30 days before the election is 10/9/2016, but of course I say the earlier, the better.

You can check your voter status with Arkansas’ Voter View. If you’re not registered, use their voter resources page to get registered. Then be sure and vote on November 8th.

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