I got in the mail a sample ballot for my congressional district, the 8th of Fairfax County, Virginia.
Biggie and I have already been discussing the presidential race, so I wanted to focus on the back of ballot issues.
I found Balletopedia to be a fantastic resource. If you look up your address, it’ll give you a rundown of the races you’ll be able to vote on tomorrow, and you can drill down int succinct summaries of each candidate’s basic positions and careers. It also provided me information on the two amendments to the state constitution that would be on my ballot: The “Right to Work” amendment and the property tax exemption for surviving spouses of police/service personnel, which included summaries of the pro and con arguments for each. (The League of Women Voters also has a rundown of these two amendments).
A little bit of Googling also led me to some local news reporting on the referendum and bond issues of Fairfax County from WTOP and Fairfax Connection. The county government also has a pdf pamphlet of the bond issues on this year’s ballot.
I sat down with Biggie with my sample ballot and talked over what was consequential about each of these issues, deciding how we wanted to vote up and down the ballot. It gave me an opportunity to clarify how I saw the political philosophies and agendas of different parties and stakeholders, and how the system tries to balance a variety of interests.
As for the presidential election, I’m going to review the electoral college:
Print out maps:
And watch TV with Biggie to count up the electoral votes as they get announced.