The Czar would like to make some comments about the upcoming election that is geared for Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and people of all stripes, heights, dimensions, and configurations.
First, this upcoming election may among our historys most crucial elections; no matter what your view on a given topic is, it is likely being challenged by some candidate at some level. Your vote most assuredly counts.
As a result, make sure you are registered. Our suspicion is that most people who fail to vote do not know whether they are registered, where they are supposed to go to vote, or what the process is.
Determining your registration status is pretty easy: if you are reading this, the odds are pretty high you are on the Internet. Open your favorite web browser, go to your search engine, and type in registered to vote and the name of your county. Pretty much every county in the United States has an online registry verification form.
Put in your name and other informationdont worry: this is all public information anywayand if you are registered to vote, you will see a confirmation and (most likely) the address of where you are to go on Election Day.
If you are not registered to vote, the website will let you know what you can do to register, and whether there is still time in your jurisdiction to do so. Registration is quick, simple, and does not guarantee you will serve on a jury or whatever the other nonsense is that people use to talk themselves out of registering.
By the way, serving on a jury is the second-most important task a citizen can perform (after voting). The Czar considers serving on a jury active participation in American politics and criminal justice.
If you have never voted before, you can usually see a sample ballot. The Czar recommends saving or printing yourself a copy every election. Why? So you can find out who these jerks are.
Sure, you know your presidential candidates, and you probably know your congressional candidates, too. But exactly which three candidates should we select for the Desert Forestry Commission? And should we retain Olden Euceless as a judge?
Look over the sample ballotthey should exactly match the one youre going to see on Election Dayand if you see some names you havent seen before, Google or Bing em. You might find in a contest between two candidates that Cal Amari is a professional puppy rescuer, whereas Skip Towne is under intense federal supervision for fraud and corruption. Or that stupid judge who let obvious killer Tom McBaum go after three months? Look whose name is on the ballot asking to be retained. Boo-yah!. Goodbye!
The Internet has made it very easy to find out who some of these jokers are: just be certain the facts check out. Read a couple of storiesyou can never put it past some politicians to have their underlings put out phony news stories bashing their opponents, so check a couple of links before you decide.
If you have never managed to get yourself to your local polling place, you need to go this time. Get there early or get there latepolls open pretty early and stay open pretty late. Lines might be a little longer this time, but you should be in and out in 15 minutes at most.
When you get there, you will identify yourself, be handed a ballot, and asked if you need any instructions or assistance. If you have never voted before and are not certain what to do, now is your time to ask. The election officials will be happy to show you where to go, how to vote, and even make sure you are comfortable and not under any duress. And yes, you will have complete privacy. They will then assist you in depositing your ballot wherever it needs to goor simply hang around and watch others do it.
And when you leave the polling place, feel very proud of yourselfsome of the most powerful people in world just asked your permission to do things.