Today, locally, begins our city council race, among other races in our county. This can be a time of tension, though I think it could be used as a time of learning. So, to continue our political politeness series seems quite appropriate on the first day of early voting.
So behaviors, such as wearing a candidate’s shirt or pin to the polls, are actually illegal and could get you removed from the voting area. Other behaviors, such as setting up just outside the legal boundaries, simply are in bad taste. Garnering support for yourself or your candidate shouldn’t take place only the days of early voting and Election Day. It should have been an effort all along. I will say with honesty, sometimes we can lose a race for ourselves or others based on our actions. That is why etiquette and manners are so vital in the political arena.
Here are a few dos and don’ts for going to the polls.
Break the law by campaigning at the polls.
Reduce people to their political party. You don’t have to like a certain political party to respect someone as a human.
Tell people for whom you voted unsolicited. I strongly discourage political talk, but it is especially uncouth when it is unwanted.
Forget to vote. If you have done your research and plan to vote, make sure you actually go to the polls.
Remain calm and polite. The volunteers are doing their best with limited training. They will need to verify you are who you say you are.
Your research ahead of time. I have little respect for voting just to vote. This can often do much more harm than good.
Encourage others to voting in an informed matter, but always keep in mind: their opinion is no better or worse than yours.
Remember candidates and their supporters are human beings.
Remember the Golden Rule.
For everyone running for an office, I wish you a lot of luck. Regardless of the election outcome, I hope you find time to volunteer for your community. It needs you.
For everyone voting, I hope you put a lot of thought into your vote. Remember the candidates are not perfect, and support the winning candidate, regardless. We cannot move forward by cutting our nose to spite our face.