I Voted (by Melissa Lew)
I Voted (by Melissa Lew)

Today is election day in America, and if you are a U.S. citizen who is eligible to vote you should make sure you do so. This year, all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are on the ballot, as are thirty-six U.S. Senate seats and countless state and local offices and referendums all across the county. Virginians like myself will be voting for U.S. Senator, our local U.S. House seat, and a statewide ballot referendum. Here in Loudoun County, we also have three local bond referendums. The polls in Virginia are open until 7:00 p.m., and as long as you are in line by that time your votes will be counted. Find your polling location on the Virginia Department of Elections web site.

I have my opinions about who should win my local races, and I have shared them here on this site. I invite you to read up on what I have to say, but also to study the issues and the candidates, read other sources, and come to an informed decision—even if your informed decision differs from mine. The ballot box is our best opportunity as citizens to shape our governments and choose our national, state, and local paths.

Even if you happen to despise all of your options and choose to write-in a candidate or abstain from voting in one or more races, your vote still counts for something. I would rather have you go to the polls and cast a blank ballot than stay home, because every abstention and every write-in also sends a message (perhaps about the overall quality of the candidates). Staying home as an eligible voter sends a different message; it tells our leaders that you just don’t care, and you are happy to let them do whatever they like.

As in past years, we will be covering election night results here on Off on a Tangent. Beginning around 6:30 p.m., the site will include live results for all of my local races along with a live blog of the night’s proceedings (locally and nationally). I hope you’ll stop by!

Scott Bradford has been building web sites and using them to say what he thinks since 1995, which tended to get him in trouble with power-tripping assistant principals at the time. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, but has spent most of his career (so far) working on public- and private-sector web sites. He is not a member of any political party, and brands himself an ‘independent constitutional conservative.’ In addition to holding down a day job and blogging about challenging subjects like politics, religion, and technology, Scott is also a devout Catholic, gun-owner, bike rider, and music lover with a wife, two cats, and a dog.