Interestingly enough, several weeks before the Miami Beach emails broke, I was teaching a class to police management, and we reached the topic of social media. A similar scandal had occurred in 45 minutes north of us in Ft. Lauderdale, and an African American sergeant asked me my opinion. Mistake #1 — never ask my opinion, because I will give it to you raw. I basically said that anyone who would sent such emails degrading African Americans and women was a subhuman racist. I noticed an interesting shift of energy in the room, and the sergeant looking at me with panic. He came up to me after, and said “while I’m glad you said that and I agree with you, the truth is, there are some officers who really think that stuff is funny.” I looked at him as if he was an alien. Not even two months later, the news of Miami Beach Police Department broke.
I’m not much of a “let me take a selfie” kind of woman, but it’s all about the evidence (I am the Resident Legal Diva after all).
So here it is. I early voted today.
On Miami Beach, it wasn’t too bad. Definitely more people than during the primaries; but certainly low numbers. I’m hopeful that the numbers will increase as early voting comes to a close, and as November 4 arrives.
There are two themes that keeps recurring. One is “I’m so tired of those nasty ads on television and radio. How do I know what’s true? One is as bad as the other”
The second theme is “I know I’m supposed to do my research, but I’m busy. Being an informed voter takes WORK. I have a job, family, kids….ain’t nobody got time for that!”
Well, here is my answer to both.
That magical thing called the Internet.
There is a great site called Politifact that is run by a group of non partisan journalists. They fact check the claims of politicians across the country, and rate them as True, Half True or False. You can even submit facts for them to check or requests for corrections. That’s a great way to see if what was said in debates or in the ads was true.
Also, go on the election website for your county. You can check out a sample ballot to see what amendments are on the ballot. Usually, the main newspaper in your area will break down the issues and endorse or object to an amendment. You don’t have to agree…but what you gain is the explanation in plain English. It makes it easier to make a decision from there.
Lastly, if there is one person in your circle that you trust, task them with doing the research. But also make them break it down for you so that you understand the issues. At the end of the day, YOU are responsible for your vote — make sure you are clear on what you are voting on!
Voting determines our destiny as a nation. If it wasn’t so important, voter suppression wouldn’t be an issue. Voting fraud wouldn’t be a crime. Voter ID laws wouldn’t be so hotly contested.
This is your life. Your future. So many are quick to complain, march and protest; while it is important that your opinion be heard, politicians respond to the power of the ballot box. Use it or lose it!