For all your unofficial results from the November 6, 2012 general election, see the Secretary of State’s page.
Some of the people nearest and dearest to my heart (ahem) have waited until today to figure out what all is on the ballot and for whom they will vote. It’s OK. I’m a huge procrastinator; it’s just that I geek out on elections, so I have the information-gathering part done already.
Here is a quick-ish “guide to the guide” that you—I mean, your friend—can use to assemble a voting plan.
First, know what kinds of elections are on the ballot beside the presidential race.
- In Tennessee, we are electing one of our two U.S. Senators. Sen. Bob Corker is running for re-election, and faces multiple opponents.
- All nine U.S. House seats are up, all nine incumbents are running for re-election, and all of them have opponents.
- Some of you may have a state Senate election in which to participate; the Senate alternates even- and odd-numbered districts every two years. This time, it’s even-numbered.
- Everyone will have a state House of Representatives election to decide. Well, in many cases there is only one candidate, but the seat’s still on the ballot.
- There may be local elections where you live. Town councils, boards of aldermen, city commissions, and such.
- Finally, there are often ballot measures, aka referenda, wherein the voters directly decide to implement or repeal some bit of law.
Second, find your districts. Look at your voter registration card, if you have it. If not, you can use Project Vote Smart (federal and state only), your county election commission, these Tennessee district maps, or the Tennessee Secretary of State’s voter lookup. Remember: your districts may not be the same as the last few times. They all changed after the 2010 census.
Find out who is running for each office in your districts. That can be done here on a combination of pages (see below), or, if you live in Hamilton County, you can simply hop over to the Nooga.com voter guide. News outlets in most other major Tennessee cities also have published something similar. (The Commercial Appeal, Knoxville News-Sentinel, e.g.)
To use Tennessee Ticket:
- Go to the Tennessee House of Representatives page, click on your district number near the top of the page, and you will jump to your House candidates.
- Go to the Tennessee Senate page, and if your district is even-numbered, click it and jump to your candidates.
- Go to the U.S. House of Representatives page, click on your district number near the top of the page, and you will jump to your House candidates.
- Go to the U.S. Senate page. There are no district numbers; all candidates are listed.
- Go to the President & Vice President page. All candidates on the ballot in Tennessee are listed.
Your penultimate step is very important. You have to find out what these candidates stand for, how they’ve voted in the past (if applicable), whose pocket they’re in, and all kinds of things that, frankly, it’s too late now to expect to finish. Just do the best you can. Scour their websites. Read their tweets and Facebook messages. Search the internet for articles about them, and take everything with a grain of salt.
Assemble your voting preferences before heading to your polling place. Write down or tap into your mobile device the name of the candidate you have chosen for each position on your ballot. Also record any decisions you have made regarding amendments or referenda. Be prepared.
Now that you have done all of these things: GO VOTE.
The Nashville Scene has produced a handy flowchart to help you decide which third party presidential candidate to support this election. I think its decision questions could use a little re-engineering, but it’s not without value.
And it does help make my own decision clearer.
TennesseeTicket.com has again collaborated with Nooga.com to produce voter guides for the 2012 election in Hamilton County, Tennessee.* Click the logo to get started.
The Nooga.com guides include the following races and ballot measures:
- President & Vice President
- U.S. Senate
- U.S. House – District 3
- U.S. House – District 4
- State Senate – District 10
- State House – District 26
- State House – District 27
- State House – District 28
- State House – District 29
- State House – District 30
- Chattanooga City Charter
*Note: voters outside Hamilton County but in Tennessee can find all their state and federal candidates listed right here on the Tennessee Ticket voter guides.
The Tennessee House page is still being updated from August, and I’ll post another announcement when it’s finished.
One of the more intriguing bits of geographical trivia about the current election is how Salt Lake City, Utah enjoys a connection with three candidates for president, two of whom are still running.
The one who isn’t running is former Utah Governor and U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman, who dropped out of the Republican primary that was eventually won by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Romney, of course, was in Salt Lake City as CEO of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games; and his deep family history in the Mormon faith also ties him to the Crossroads of the West.
Enter the glue between these two: Ross Carl “Rocky” Anderson, who was mayor of Salt Lake City from 2000 to 2008, which means that he worked with Romney on the Olympics and shared the corridors of government with Huntsman for a few years. (Huntsman was the Beehive State’s governor from 2005 to 2009.)
But in sharp contrast to the two former governors’ Republicanism, Anderson is shockingly left-wing (by Utah standards), and he formed a brand-new political party in 2011 in order to launch his own presidential bid.
The Justice Party‘s platform sounds quite similar to tenets held by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, along with some Green Party values. It summarizes its issue positions as “economic, environmental, and social justice for all.” Anderson chose Luis Rodriguez, a writer and former gang member turned human rights activist, as his running mate.
Anderson and Rodriguez are on the ballot in sixteen states, meaning that they likely do not have enough official electors lined up to gain the 270 votes needed to win election. However, the campaign is seeking write-in votes in fourteen other states.
Since the Justice Party does not have ballot access in Tennessee, the Anderson-Rodriguez ticket will be listed as “Independent.”