Friday, October 24, 2008
I have never felt so conflicted about who to cast my presidential vote for. I'm about 60% sure I've made my decision, but that other 40% keeps me thinking about all the issues and double and triple checking all of my reasons behind who I will vote for. It is a strange feeling to be less than two weeks from Election Day and realize I may still end up changing my mind. BUT at the same time, isn't that the beauty of the system? We can change our minds. We can vote for whomever we feel will best represent our concerns and values.
Along that vein, I have been frustrated recently as I have searched high and low to find out everything that will be on the ballot. Finally, this morning I found what I was looking for.
If you live in Florida, specifically Leon County, you'll be interested in all of this. If you don't live in Florida, but still haven't looked into what else will be on your ballot, I suggest googling something like "city name ballot candidates" or "city name ballot amendments". I had a lot more success using my city name rather than state because there are many issues that are county/city specific.
So on to what I found that will interest my fellow Floridians/Leon "Countians". If you go here you will find a searchable database with most of the candidates running for office. If you go here you will find another list with many of the candidates from the searchable database as well as a few others. Go to this page by the Tallahassee Democrat for a run-down of the amendments on the ballot, or this page for another summary, or this page for the actual language of the amendments.
Because I've already done some legwork on this and was frustrated at how long it took -- I want to share what I found on the candidates running. Be forewarned, this is quite a substantial list. Does anyone know if we're allowed to take a paper in with our own notes?
My apologies in advance if you were hoping to see what party these candidates are running under. If it's not listed, I don't know. I pulled this list together this morning and have yet to actually GO to all of the links and make my own decisions regarding these candidates.
UPDATE: I was just looking through my "Official Sample Ballot" (anyone in Leon County should have received one of these). While it doesn't list the specifics on each candidate, it does include a Special Pull-Out Section that you can use to vote at home and then take with you to refer to as you actually vote. So, if anyone else had the same question I asked above -- there's the answer!
ANOTHER UPDATE: So, I was bugged that the "Official Sample Ballot" said "not every race listed on this Sample Ballot will be on your actual ballot". Thank goodness it directed me to where I could see an actual copy of my ballot. If you live here in Leon County that link will be helpful. You'll need to go look on your voter registration card to see what precinct you're in and then go from there. Each precinct will list four ballots, but only the one ending in G is for November 4th. The rest are all from August 26th.
But after looking over my actual ballot, I am confused! I know that I only need to vote for candidates in my district when there are other districts involved -- but how is it that so many of the names listed here in my post (from the Tallahassee Democrat) are not on the ballot? I'm going to be referring back to this post as I pick my candidates so I'm adding bold highlighting to all of the candidates I will be looking at. Also, apparently I don't get to vote for the county sheriff?
And then there were other issues I didn't even know to expect -- so I will also be looking into whether or not the following judges should be retained in office:
Justice Charles T. Wells of the Supreme Court
Judge Robert T. Benton of the First District Court of Appeal
Judge Marguerite H. Davis of the First District Court of Appeal
Judge Joseph Lewis, Jr. of the First District Court of Appeal
Judge Ricky L. Polston of the First District Court of Appeal
Judge Clay Roberts of the First District Court of Appeal
Judge William A. Van Nortwick, Jr. of the First District Court of Appeal
(I think the "judge" was a little redundant...ah well.)
2nd Judicial Circuit Judge, Group 16
2nd Judicial Circuit Judge, Group 3
2nd Judicial Circuit Judge, Group 4
County Judge, Seat 5
Nina Ashenafi Richardson
Sean T. Desmond
2nd Judicial Circuit Judge, Group 7
Frank E. Sheffield
Capital Region Community Development District Supervisor, Seat 2
Barry G. Brooks
Correy W. Dietz
Capital Region Community Development District Supervisor, Seat 4
City Commissioner, Seat 1
Larry Hendricks - no webpage, write-in candidate, but this link has a debate between Henricks & Mustian on green issues
Leon County Commission, At-Large
Leon County School Board, District 1
Forrest Van Camp
Leon County School Board, District 2
Dianne D. Williams-Cox
Leon County School Board, District 4
Dee Dee Rasmussen
Rosa L. Lovett
Leon County Sheriff
Tommy Lee Mills
State House, District 10
Julie S. Conley
State House, District 9
Peter Boulware - Republican
Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda - Democrat
State Representative, District 8
Carolyn J. Roberson
Hubert R. Brown
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 2
Allen Boyd - Democrat
Mark Mulligan - Republican
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 4
Ander Crenshaw - Republican
Jay McGovern - Democrat
STATE SENATOR DISTRICT 3
Charles S. Dean - Republican
Suzan L. R. Franks - Democrat