Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hey Obomites, Don't Count Your Chickens...

Feeling confident about next week's upcoming election? Liking the looks of the polls in battleground states? Well, to paraphrase Han Solo, "Don't get cocky, kid!"

The election is far from over, and history has shown us that desperate Republicans (or, to be fair, anyone desperate to hold on to power) will resort to desperate measures. Already reports are flooding in about "dirty tricks" to keep students, Democratic voters, and of course minorities away from the polls on November 4th. Now is not the time to sit back and relax... there's still lots of work to be done:

>> If you can vote early, get out there and do it. Already this year long lines have formed for early voting due to voting machine mix-ups, lack of voting resources (strangely enough, often in minority or Democratic-leaning areas), and the general press of people wanting to get in and get their vote counted. If you live in a vote-by-mail state like I do (we've done all our voting by mail here in Oregon for years now) open up that ballot and get it filled out!

When heading to the polls, remember:

1. Bring a government-issued photo ID. Not all states require you to show ID when you vote, but why risk it. If you don't have a government-issued ID, then most states will accept your social security card or a copy of a landline phone bill.

2. Do not wear anything that could be construed as a political endorsement on your person when at the polls. If you really want to wear your Obama shirt, Nader Pin, or McCain... diapers (?) make sure it is completely covered before you enter the polling place.

3. Know your rights. Don't allow others to intimidate you. You cannot be arrested for outstanding traffic tickets or warrants simply for showing up to vote. You can download a copy of the "Voter's Bill of Rights" from Democracy For America. You might also want to check out, a downloadable comic book that explains your rights as a voter, and how to respond if you encounter intimidation or other voter supression tactics.

>> Donate some time to your candidate. Make some phone calls, knock on some doors... a lot can happen in the next week (hey, if you're a McCain supporter you might just be able to turn-around the trends... and if you're an Obama supporter, you might be able to keep the McCain supporters from turning around the trends :) ).

>> Talk to your friends, family and neighbors about the issues and the candidates. Conventional wisdom says that it's not "polite conversation" to discuss politics... but this upcoming election is what's on everyone's mind right now. There's nothing wrong with discussing your opionions in an open and honest way... as long as you allow the other party to discuss his or her opnion in the same way. You don't have to agree with him or her... but discussing your views on the candidates and the issues isn't a bad thing. It helps to strengthen your own understanding of things, and might just give you (or the other party) some new things to think about that haven't come up yet.

The race isn't won yet, folks... keep at it. If we can keep up the work we've done thus far, just look at what we get in one week's time: