Monday, January 28, 2008
Since I first registered to vote, I've been in Independent voter. I remember when I first registered in South Carolina being asked if wanted to register as a Democrat or Republican. When I said neither, that I wished to be Independent, the registration officially said coolly, "Oh, then undecided." I was very clearly decided, but it seems that the only choices on the form were Democrat, Republican, and Undecided.
I'm probably one of those voters that most of you dislike. I participate in every election, but I don't always cast a vote. If I don't know who the candidates are, I don't feel like I can in good conscience cast a vote. If I know the candidates and I don't feel like they support my views, I purposely don't cast a vote. There have been several elections where I didn't cast a vote for a particular office, either from my own ignorance or because the candidates were not candidates I could support. I've never written in a candidate. I never thought of myself or anyone else as qualified before. But it's something I'm considering this year.
This election, I'm not sure yet who I will vote for. It will depend on how closely the candidates match my criteria. And since I can't vote in the upcoming Kansas state caucuses (there is no primary) unless I join either party, I have time to think about what criteria is most important to me.
So right now I find my time better served in defining the criteria that I'm going to use rather than helping to narrow down the candidates. And not just Presidential candidates, but from all offices I'm eligible to vote for. Supporting science is going to be very high on my list, but I haven't formulated what I think will be really important for this election yet.
Of course it's not always easy to find out what exactly the candidates will vote for after they're elected. Politic-speak is generic. If they've served in public office there are usually voting records available at Project Vote Smart and FactCheck.org is a good resource when contemplating claims and smears.
So, I'm going to do some research, and in a couple of months I'll write another post with my criteria and how each of the remaining candidates match up to it. This will include all candidates, including local candidates in my area. Hopefully it'll be a learning exercise for me and I'll get good feedback from you guys.
So, for you readers, how do you decide who to vote for?