I am such a bad blogger . . . Well, lately I have been. I've just been so busy . . . So frickin' busy. Work seems to be picking up lately -- I find myself leaving in the evening and realizing that I feel like I've just arrived. That's a good feeling, no doubt, but the campaign has certainly taken up a lot of my energy.
Alas, there will be no more campaigning, though. Jim Cogan came in third place, which means he didn't even make the run-off to possibly get elected in November. We felt pretty blindsided -- the entire campaign, we had been crunching numbers that supported the thought that Jim would likely end up with 23% of the vote for the district, which would almost guarantee him a space in the run-off. On election night, we watched precinct numbers coming in, only to see that after 65 precincts were accounted for, Jim only had 13% of the vote.
That doesn't seem like a whole lot, but given that there were six candidates, it's pretty good. And he did come in third, which isn't bad . . . except it doesn't qualify him for the run-off. Majorly disappointing. I don't doubt that the volunteers were circling the correct spaces, but with limited funding and an apathetic district (less than 12,000 voted in a district of 46,601 registered), it feels like such a huge letdown.
Here are my tips on how to be a good voter:
1. Register -- seems simple, but seriously, you'd be surprised at how many people don't care. If you don't care, don't register and at least be honest about the fact that you don't really care.
2. Read -- read everything. It makes you more informed, it helps make the decision easier. Read the good stuff, read the not-so-good stuff. Every candidate has pro's and con's -- don't assume your guy is flawless.
3. Vote -- again with something seemingly simple, this is a huge deal. I get frustrated hearing how disappointed people are with their leadership, but they don't actively engage in the process. Did you vote for your council member? No? Then stop complaining about the roads and vote for a guy who will take care of that.
It became pretty clear on election night just how apathetic our district is -- I doubt very seriously that all of those people who said they would vote for Jim did, in fact, vote for him. If they had, he would have done much better.
4. Stay informed -- it can be hard to do all of the necessary research for voting, but it's so much easier to stay informed if you make a point to listen to at least a little bit of news every day.
5. Donate -- you don't have to send big bucks to a political campaign, but even a $25 donation makes a difference. It will go toward mailer supplies or at least, for a pizza or some water bottles to keep the volunteers fueled and hydrated while they're making (literally) hundreds of phone calls and knocking on thousands of doors.
I could go on and on and there are probably a bunch of things to write about being a good voter, but those are just my general, hopefully-helpful tips.