‘Down-Ballot’ voting

October 25, 2012

By Nancy Thorner & Jane Keill –

In our article published at Illinois Review on Oct. 23, “It’s the Electoral College, Stupid!”, we explained how important it is to vote in the upcoming election. Even though Illinois, as an all-Democrat-all-the-time state, will have its allotted 20 Electoral votes go to Obama, attention must be directed toward what is called ‘down-ballot” voting. Quite simply, you still need to vote for the candidates who are lower down on the ballot after the President/Vice-President slots at the top.

With all the hype that took place during the time span of the three presidential debates and the one vice-presidential match-up, many times it seemed like voting for president and vice president took precedence over the other races. The discussions around the water cooler at work or in the privacy of our homes were all centered on the choices at the top of the ballot.

There will, however, also be US Congressmen on the ballot who have to be re-elected every two years. There will be some Senators who are up for re-election in their six-year-term-rotation. For those of you in Illinois, Dick Durbin is up for election in 2014; Mark Kirk will be up in 2016. Now is the time to look ahead, Illinois, especially for those who espouse conservative Republican Party values. We need to search for candidates now to defeat our far left Democrat senator, Dick Durbin. And we need to look for a replacement for our much too moderate Republican senator, Mark Kirk, whose voting record makes it difficult to decide which party he has really pledged his loyalty to, despite the “R” after his name.

Lower down on the ballot will be local elections to your state capitols – your governors, representatives and senators. In some ways they are just as important as your national choices. Over the last 40 years, elected Democrat officials and legislators in Illinois have destroyed the state’s economy, its business status, its educational competence and its physical structure. Yet year after year voters in Illinois, so indoctrinated by party politics, blindly vote Democratic even though it has hurt them badly over the years. Many of these drone-like voters dwell in the city of Chicago where the Cook County and Chicago political machines demand and maintain party loyalty from its huge Democrat base.

Even lower down on the ballot you will most likely find a long list of judges (in Illinois, they are elected), and having no idea who is who, you’ll have to use the newspaper recommendations and hope they are half-way accurate.

Finally, you may have a referendum which will affect your state, county or city. Illinois has one this election which is related to the voting percentage on pension changes by our legislature.

In searching the Internet to write this article, we discovered a website (http://occupywallst.org/forum/not-just-potus-down-ballot-voting-info-4-u) that led us to a site recently set up, where one can select any state to learn where candidates stand on the issues in their community. You can also find and print out your own personalized ballot. It’s called “Voter 411 Voting Guide”: http://www.vote411.org/ballot#.UIDh8mfWrU5

Information can be printed or e-mailed to use as a reference when you actually vote. As all information is lost when you leave the site, writing in your name and address, as required to gain access to your voting information, does not pose a problem.

We were surprised when checking out the site that there were four presidential candidates on the ballots:

Gary Johnson (Libertarian)
Barack Obama (Democrat)
Mitt Romney (Republican)
Jill Stein (Green Party)

So, please don’t think your vote doesn’t count. Think of all the voters in California, Illinois, New York and other states who have been electing Democrats for years. Now, look at what condition those states are in.

That’s why your vote is important. A familiar quote, attributed to either Alexis de Tocqueville or Joseph de Maistre states, “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.” You vote for it; you live with it.





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