Sunday, November 4, 2012

As Election Day Nears, Focus Shifts from Candidates to Issues: NPR's Pre-election week coverage

Seaira Christian-Daniels

Yes, People Actually Vote for Things Other than the President

Legalizing gay marriage, medicinal marijuana, and increasing taxes--both Democratic and Republican candidates have talked about these things on the stump. 

However, many voters will cast their ballots on this issue at the state level, where, according to NPR News, the issues are really decided. In Maine, Maryland, and Washington State, there are already initiatives addressing these three issues, but after citizens vote Tuesday, they will become law.

They Wouldn’t Vote if you Paid Them

Though some voters may not understand why candidates still urge Americans to vote, the candidates are not wasting their breath.

In fact, according to a Pew Research Center report, 43 percent of Americans chose to steer clear of the polls on Election Day in 2008.

The select group of people refuses to vote this election for a variety of reasons, from the plausible to the controversial. One non-voter is a student from California, a historically Democratic state, who feels his vote will not make any difference this election. Another who is a language interpreter from Alabama claims she will not vote, as a Christian, to keep biblical neutrality in all governmental matters.

Ironically, the non-voters responded to a query on NPR’s Facebook page to say they wouldn’t vote.  Which raises another issue: Who “should” vote? Is voting only for the politically astute or those educated on the issues? Political (and Constitutional) correctness advocates for all voters—informed or not. 

How Voters and Non-Voters Would Vote this Election
However, if the very people who are engaged enough to take the time to participate in a political poll while they’re strolling through Facebook do not want to cast their ballots, what does this say of those who form their decision from nothing but television campaign ads? When the twitter page @nonVotersVoice follows @CNN @washingtonpost and @TheRoot247, something seems a little backwards.

Sandy: Why-yi-yi-yi

Hurricane Sandy has already left her mark on major cities in the East Coast, but the amount of destruction she brought with her has some state officials wondering why the levee systems weren’t strong enough to withstand her surges.  The answer is the same one given to Katrina victims: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not know exactly the total number of levees nationwide.

There are no national standards for levee construction, and often, citizens will build their own levees to protect their property from floodwaters. Until the issue of levees appears on the ballots in the near future, the potential for another breech will always loom over America’s coastal areas.

No comments: