“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.” — Plato
The Greek philosopher, Plato, must have been looking in a crystal ball at U.S. elections when he made the aforementioned statement. Not only are we dealing with a White House administration that is inept, we have a legislative branch that appears to have abdicated their Constitutional responsibility.
After a week where our nation has experienced three mass shooting incidents, one the result of a domestic terrorist attack by a 20-something year old white supremacist, and where leaders at the highest levels continue to engage in superficial piousness and deflect responsibility with empty rhetoric, we must find the resolve to become an active participant in electing a principled leadership that is accountable to the people rather than corporate special interest groups.
It’s apparent that our representation needs an overhaul. Not only in D.C., but in Tallahassee and locally, as well.
The obvious solution is as Plato said, to take an interest in our affairs… and VOTE!
However, our participation will require more than showing up to poll to vote. Because our election system contains vulnerabilities that Russia and other foreign adversaries are continually compromising, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to address through legislation, we must implement some preventative measures to ensure we don’t run into shenanigans when we cast our ballots.
Monitor your voter registration
According to reports by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Senate Intelligence Committee and other national security agencies, Russian hackers infiltrated voter registration databases in 21, to possibly all 50 states, depending on the source. Although no agency conducted a thorough investigation to determine if any data was altered or deleted, manipulating voter registration data could play a critical part in determining election results.
It is highly recommended that voters check their registration status at 90-, 60- and 45-day intervals before the primary and general elections. Check to ensure your name matches the name on your driver’s license and the following are correct: address, date of birth, party affiliation, and precinct number. Take a picture or screenshot in case you need proof when voting.
Update signature file for absentee voting
It has been reported that election officials in some counties rejected ballots due to invalid signatures. Many of the invalid signatures were because the signature file was more than five years old and many were from seniors. While we all have changed our signatures over time, medical experts say it is highly improbable for seniors to maintain a consistent signature from year to year.
If you have been voting absentee for over five years or you know a senior citizen who votes absentee, please call your County Clerk and request a form to update your absentee ballot.
Verify your precinct location Precinct locations change for a variety of reasons. It is recommended that you contact your local election supervisor’s office at least 2-3 days before the election to confirm your precinct location. There have been instances where a polling location is relocated on the day of the election because the location was deemed unsuitable for the public. In such cases the polling location is required to post a notice, including the address of the new polling location, at the building’s entrance. You may also verify your polling location prior to beginning your trip by calling your county election supervisor’s office.