Voting, it isn't just for Presidents!
Hello my fellow Dallasites and surrounding citizens! We have a very important election coming in just a few months, Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020. Did you know that the General Election is always on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November? I'm glad I could pass on that little tidbit to you today! So I will be starting a new series of blog posts all about voting as we approach this very important election!
Voting is one of our greatest privileges as citizens, and yet typically, only about half of eligible voters exercise that right in elections (less during mid-term elections). Because Oregon is an all vote-by-mail state, it continually has one of the top voter turnouts in our nation. And while it’s easy to make excuses to not vote—I’m too busy with work, I don’t like any of the candidates, or I don’t know enough —there is too much at stake to not make your voice heard. Plus, for the majority of you reading this post, voting was a right we had to fight hard for.
There are no stupid questions. Just because you don’t know everything about politics doesn’t mean you can’t learn. You also don’t have to know everything! We understand it can be overwhelming but the answers are out there if you look. Here’s some general information that you need to know going into elections.
What is Voting?
Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an electorate, in order to make a collective decision or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates or election campaigns. Democracies elect holders of high office by voting. Residents of a place represented by an elected official are called "constituents", and those constituents who cast a ballot for their chosen candidate are called "voters".
Voting in Oregon
The use of vote by mail was first approved on a limited basis by the Legislature in 1981 and was made a permanent feature of some elections in 1987. In 1998, Oregon voters amended state law to require that the primary and general elections in May and November of even-numbered years also be conducted through vote by mail. Beginning in 2000, primary and general elections have been conducted by mail. In 2007, the Legislature provided that all elections will be conducted by mail.
Instances of Voting
Whenever people or organizations need to make a decision, voting is the most common way of reaching a decision. When you are a member of a society or a club, you get the privilege to vote for rules, for memberships as well as elect officials. If you are from a big family and you can't decide where to go for the evening, you can all put in a vote as to what you want to do. I hope your favorite movie is the winner!! How about your group of friends from high school are getting together after 30 years, you aren't sure what you want to do? Why not put out suggestions and then everyone can place a vote for their favorite and then based on the votes, you have your activities!
We all use voting on a daily basis, even voting within our own mind happens. When we weigh our options, that is a vote! We also vote on contests, as well as when you serve on a jury. A panel of Judges (such as the Supreme Court), they cast votes to make decisions on court cases. Members of teams get to vote on such things as uniforms, colors and maybe even the team's name. Share holders of a company, but not outsiders, may elect its officers or adopt or change rules, in a similar way to the election of people to official positions. Board Members (whether it be a board for a non-profit organization or board for a special group), also cast important votes. Their votes decide how to run businesses, leadership within organizations, non profit by laws, and so much more. Members need to be kept well informed and provided with adequate opportunities to learn about current issues and given an atmosphere that encourages members to ask questions that allow for informed decisions while making their vote.
And in conclusion...
There are many ways and methods to voting. It is our right as an American citizen to vote. Our government and others worked hard to make sure voting is fair, without abuse and without doubt of who is elected. Get out, get informed and get to voting!!!
Let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything that you would like me to cover in this series, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at DallasAreaVisitorsCenter@gmail.com
adapted from: how to be an informed voter