June 3, 2014
On June 10 South Carolina will be holding its primary elections. As voters, there should be one task ahead of you before you head to the voting booth and that is to be informed.
Although it has become popular in the United States to vote a straight ticket, as a voter there needs to be the understanding there is more to know than party affiliation. Do your homework and research the candidates you are considering.
You should ask yourself questions about the person who will receive your vote and have no doubt in your mind as to the answers.
Do they truly live in my district or do they actually live and work in another district or state, getting only their mail locally? How much time does the candidate spend in the geographical district they are/want to represent? What is the candidate’s agenda in running for office? Does the candidate vote, if so, where? From whom does their financing come? Is it possible to adhere to the letter of the state’s eligibility requirements and avoid the spirit of those same requirements?
The list of information and questions about the candidates to be considered goes on and on, but the ultimate lesson here is that party affiliation and a name on the ballot doesn’t guarantee anything. It is incumbent upon those who cast the votes to make themselves aware of the questions and issues.
Should someone who holds a job in another state and only receives mail in your area be considered a resident and eligible to run for office?
With no depth in the background check for the elections commission, the sole documentation being an Intention of Candidacy & Party Pledge, it’s possible to make the logistics work in conjunction with the letter of eligibility, but the spirit is still lacking.
Therefore, voters, it is up to you to decide and the only way that is possible is by doing the legwork yourself.
Know the candidates before you vote, don’t vote based on party lines (they aren’t always black and white), and above all else, ask yourself if the candidate has your best interests or their own at heart. Know your vote before you cast it.
Without term limits and a control on campaign spending, being a politician has become a profession with fewer and fewer candidates seeking to serve instead of gain.
Know your candidates and know them well. You would be surprised as to what a little curiosity can turn up.