Monday, November 5, 2012

Tomorrow's the day

This is not a political blog. And that doesn’t change today. But I will remind my U.S. readers that tomorrow is Election Day. Unless you’ve already voted absentee or early in your state, I hope you’ll head to the polls tomorrow to exercise your right to have your voice heard.

Of course new coverage has been focused on the presidential race, but in my community, the ballot is six pages long, including:

President / Vice President
U.S. Senator
Two U.S. House of Representative slots – one temporary one for the rest of this year (a crazy story I’d tell if this were a more political blog), and one full-term
State Representative
School Board
State School Board
Regents at various State Universities
Judges (State Supreme Court, Appeals Court and Local District Court)
Six state ballot proposals, five of which propose changes to the state constitution
Five county proposals that would significantly alter the county charter
And, Library Board

It’s easy to become cynical. It’s easy to be turned off by all the negative ads, especially at the top. (It’s times like this I’m glad we only get our TV entertainment through Hulu, Netflix and AppleTV.) It’s easy to be annoyed at the robocalls (we have three registered voters at our address, so we get LOTS of these calls).

But it’s also not that hard to rise above the annoyance and to read the voter guides, the candidate websites, and make some informed choices.

I’ll close with two memories:

First, in fourth or fifth grade, we did a little skit that we took around to other classes in the school encouraging people to encourage their parents to vote. One member of the class was dressed as Uncle Sam as we all sang some patriotic song. I wanted so much to be Uncle Sam, but I was beat out by another kid – taller and more boisterous than me. That stinging political defeat did not turn me off to politics, however: it continues to remind me that I need to use my vote, my voice.

Second, my patriarchal blessing encourages me specifically to exercise my franchise and vote. It seemed an odd thing to include in a patriarchal blessing when I heard it, as I pretty much thought the blessing would confine itself to quite spiritual things. As I’ve considered my blessing since, I realize it has a mix of temporal and spiritual counsel, and I’ve tried to be true to that part that urges me to vote.

I hope you’ll vote tomorrow.


Oh, there's another place to vote: head on over to Everyday Mormon Writer and learn how to vote for your favorites in their Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest! Voting closes tomorrow there, too.

You can also check out my latest post at Real Intent, "Questions? You've got Questions?? here.


  1. Our ballot is just as crazy; lots to decide on - I spent Saturday making all my notes, so it won't take so long tomorrow...

    I told my friend about your patriarchal blessing's encouraging you to vote - she wondered if your vote is special, and asked who you're voting for. LOL

  2. As you point out, in our state the ballot is so long, it would take too long to tell you who I'm voting for...

    (I was grateful for an article in the local paper over the weekend on the candidates for library board; until that article I had no idea who to choose, but now I do!)

  3. I think the counsel to vote in your patriarchal blessing was more spiritual than you may realize. In the October 1974 general Conference, Bruce R. McConkie, (in a talk entitled: "Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith"), said:
    "To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to take the Lord’s side on every issue. It is to vote as he would vote. It is to think what he thinks, to believe what he believes, to say what he would say and do what he would do in the same situation."
    I think it's noteworthy that vote comes first in that list.
    every good thing...
    - Michael J. Snider

  4. Michael, thanks for the quotation from Elder McConkie.

    I enjoyed going back and reading the talk (in the November 1974 Ensign). The quotation you cite is preceded by five other paragraphs of what it means to be valiant, so technically voting as Jesus would vote is not first on the list. But still, we ought to consider the Savior's teachings as we make those choices at the polls, to be sure.