Friday, November 2, 2012

Ten reasons to vote

Americans who paid even the least bit of attention in history, civics and government classes know the historical reasons they should vote. Today’s reasons are just as urgent. Here are 10 for anyone who may be sitting on the fence.

1. Independent thinkers: To tell New York City millionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg to let Idaho fight its own battles. A court-ordered disclosure this week unmasked Bloomberg as the second-largest contributor at $200,000 to a group called “Education Voters of Idaho. It’s backing the controversial Luna Laws (Propositions 1, 2 and 3) with heavy advertising. The largest donor at $250,000 is Joe Scott, grocery heir and chair of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. He’s also a large investor in K12 Inc., an online education company that may benefit if the measures pass.

2. Blaine County and District 26 moderates: To give Idaho’s radical-right Republican-dominated Legislature some loyal opposition by continuing to elect Democrats to represent them in Boise.

3. Young women and men: To protect access to effective birth control and abortion. Anyone in their reproductive years who doesn’t take these issues seriously should ask a Baby Boomer or someone older what it was like when abortion was illegal and birth control pills didn’t exist.

4. People whose livelihoods depend on the weather (ask New Jersey who they are): To vote for candidates willing to take action on global warming, which is melting polar ice and, scientists believe, may contribute to fierce storms and environmental damage.

5: Anyone who likes snowsports or needs water: See No. 4. 

6. People who like the scales of justice in balance: To determine whether the right-leaning U.S. Supreme Court will lean ever more right or become more balanced when new justices are appointed by the next president.

7. People with local jobs: To protect jobs by voting “yes” for a local-option tax increase to be paid mostly by visitors to support more widespread air service. Having a job or a business in the area may depend on the outcome of this issue.

8. People who want to know what laws will do before they approve them: To send the constitutional amendment to make hunting, fishing and trapping a right enshrined in the state Constitution back to the Legislature by voting “no” as a demand for more information.

9. People who wish to exercise their right under Idaho law not to produce a photo I.D. in order to vote: To show up at the polls and simply ask to sign a statement declaring that you are the person you say you are.

10. Fashionistas: To be able to wear the cool red, white and blue “I voted” sticker all day long.


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