Yes, I know Election Day is actually NEXT Tuesday, but I live in Oregon, and we have a write-in ballot system.
I really like the Oregon system, not just because it lets me vote from the comfort of my own home at a timing that’s convenient for me… I like it because it allows me to really take my time with the ballot. Every ballot comes with a detailed Voters’ Pamphlet that outlines the choices in real detail.
I can review each candidate’s resume and see who the different organizations endorse. I think in other states, I might be more tempted to just pull a party lever because it’s hard to research each position. This time, I spent a while considering my choice for governor—I got onto my phone and looked up some more details and I feel that I finally made an informed choice based on the issues I most cared about.
With the pamphlet, I can read the full ballot measure, not just a summary or the title. I spent at least 20 minutes trying to figure out what one measure might mean—it was incredibly confusing language and I’m glad I took the time. I might have voted the other way based on the title or even just the summary But as I always say, the devil’s in the details!
Most everyone out there, you have a week still before you go to the polls. I hope you will vote–whoever your candidate, whatever your issue–you need to vote. But more importantly, I am hoping you will take this week to do some research. Consider the individuals and the issues. Read the ballot measures. Dig into the details and prepare for your entry into the ballot booth. Create your own voters’ pamphlet and take some time making an informed decision. You might even be surprised by some of your choices!
Elizabeth Baldwin is Environmental Compliance Officer for Metropolitan Hardwood Floors. In her 25 plus year career in the wood industry has visited over 70 countries and hundreds of facilities of all sizes and types. She describes herself as a “jack of all wood trades.” Familiar with jungles of all sorts–having camped out along the Amazon and walked the halls of Congress–she blogs for the NWFA on both environmental and regulatory issues for educational and informational purposes only. Her blog is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. Persons seeking legal advice on compliance with CARB, TSCA, the U.S. Lacey Act or any other law, regulation, or compliance requirement/claim should consult with the regulatory agency directly and/or a qualified legal professional.