Vote 2012: How and Why Moms Should Vote in Dallas


Mad because another debate kept you from watching New Girl? 

Weary of all this election stuff and wishing it would be over already?

Where and How to vote and vote early in dallas. Dallas Moms blog

If you think that you are ready for this campaign to be done…let me tell you about two other moms whom, I am sure, are also ready. 

Their names are Michelle Obama and Ann Romney. 

More than a decade ago before I surrendered to motherhood, I worked in the world of politics.  I spent some time working on Capitol Hill (where I’d frequently see VP Candidate Paul Ryan at the gym) and running campaigns, traveling all over Texas and Oklahoma.  I can tell you first hand that campaigns are grueling.  You are always “on.”  There are no weekends, free evenings, or holidays.  For the candidates and their families: the spotlight is always shining and they must always act as if they are in it.

And (no shocker here), that’s really hard on you when you are a woman, a wife, and a motherThe candidates have to be thick-skinned, yes. But, let me assure you that these women behind them have to be even tougher!  They have to endure the constant media analysis of what they were wearing and the appropriateness of their facial expressions. Their speeches get criticized as if they were running for office and the details of their lives are fodder for late night comedians and even Saturday Night Live.  (Remember the jokes during poor Chelsea Clinton’s awkward years? How would you like your daughter to go through that?)

I’ll never forget sitting in the living room of a candidate for U.S. Congress that I worked for many years ago.  His wife, children and I were all watching television when a new commercial, attacking him, came on.  The candidate’s then-four-year-old son looked at his dad and said, “Hey Daddy, why did they just bounce your head across the TV like a ball and say that you lie? Lying is bad.”

At that moment I had a new awareness of what my boss and his family were sacrificing to run for public office.

I share this story to (I hope) encourage you to remember that no matter what your interest (or lack-thereof) is in politics, the men (and women) who run for office make tremendous sacrifices of time, energy, money, and their privacy because they believe they can make a difference.

And, that is why I believe it is extremely important for each of us to figure out which candidates have values that are most similar to ours and give them our vote.  Few have the courage to run.  So, show the ones who do that we appreciate their willingness to take on the difficult life of a public servant and  support them. (Though it’s a 6 figure salary for the higher offices, it’s not much when you calculate how many hours they work and how much scrutiny they undergo.)

Even if you are fed up with all the nasty politics, don’t allow that to be your excuse not to participate.  You have a chance to impact your children’s future through your vote…so don’t miss it.

If you live in Dallas County, not knowing where to vote or how to find out about the candidates can’t be your excuse for sitting this election out either.  Here’s everything you need to be an informed participant in this election:

Step One: Check and see if you are registered to vote at this Dallas County Votes site.

If you are not registered to vote, you will not be able to participate in this election.  But, I’d encourage you to get registered now so you are ready next time!

Step Two: If you are registered to vote, use this same link to find out where your polling place is on Election Day (Tuesday, November 6) and where you can vote early (between October 22nd and November 2nd) or how to vote absentee by mail.  

Step Three:  Decide which national candidates think about issues in the same way you do:

Information on Barak Obama and local Democrat Candidates.

Information on Mitt Romney and local Republican Candidates.

Here is another helpful link to some information on other party’s candidates (like the Green and Libertarian Parties)

Step Four: Decide which local candidates you agree with the most by using this helpful tool from the Dallas Morning News.

Using this link, you enter your street address (Dallas County only) and it will give you a sample ballot, taking you through each local race, giving you a breakdown of the candidates and information on them.  It then allows you to create an email to yourself with your picks so you can make a sample ballot to take with you to the polls.

Step Five: VOTE

I recommend that moms use the early voting or absentee voting option because I can assure you that something WILL come up on Election Day to keep you from making it to the polls! (That’s the life of a mom, right?).  Many of the polling places are at libraries or public buildings with nearby parks …so take the kids, explain to them you are doing something important for their future, and make a fun outing of it!








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