Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on July 27th, 2018,
by Zane Cagle

Voting-Greatest Privilege and Responsibility-Avoid Common Myths and Scams

Voting-Greatest Privilege and Responsibility-Avoid Common Myths and Scams

Posted on July 27th, 2018 by Zane Cagle

Mid-Term Election May be the Election that Defines Our Generation

Generally when I’m writing about civic duty, I’m reminding people of the  importance of jury duty. Jury duty may only come up once or twice in your life, but voting is a right that you absolutely must use since it’s not only a right/duty but a privilege.  If you stand amazed that our governmental agencies act as they do, when you vote you have your voice hear. If you support what is happening, you need to make your voice heard.   Don’t be muffled by a scam that has the only goal of stifling your voice/vote.

Maybe you haven’t watched any television or read any newspapers (paper or online) and you don’t know about the very tense political times. Maybe you’ve been on a deserted island for the last two years.  While I’m not going to try to convince you of a candidate for which to vote, I am going to tell you that voting is not just a civic duty–it’s a privilege.

It has never been so critical in the last century to make your voices heard. It is critical that you not fall for myths or scams when it comes to voting.   Yes, it is 2018 and you would think that through technology everyone should be able to more easily vote. That is simply not the reality we are operating in however.

Voting CANNOT be done Online–You Have to Show Up or Vote Absentee, in Advance!

Voting in the US is still  paper/pencil driven. The only electronic vote that occurs is in the actual voting booth.  When I first heard about these scams (telling people they could vote online), I was horrified.  Then I thought about many people believe all of the nonsense they read on social media, thus it is easy to understand how so many people would be duped into thinking they could vote from their iPad, personal computer or smartphone. It is 2018 and we can do

Goal of Tech Scam Voting is to Suppress Your Vote

The goal of these tech scams is to make you think you voted when you actually did not, thus keeping a large population from voting!  There is no online voting or call in voting.

When everyone turns out to vote, then we are all represented more fairly.  Yes, in these political times, it is easy to feel like there is nothing you can do as an individual. But as collective individuals, we have the power/

Last time I checked, the right to vote and have a voice is still one of the greatest privileges in the USA.  When the largest majorities of people show up and participate in our democracy then we can help avoid the representation of the few, elite and special interest groups.

It’s a civic duty and privilege. If you’ve always been a U.S. citizen and grown up in the US then likely, you may have taken your vote for granted.  Please do not do so this year!

Biggest Myth is that YOUR Vote Does Not Count

Your vote does not matter is the biggest myth perpetrated on the public. This could not be further from the truth. It is CRITICAL that everyone vote or you simply won’t have your concerns represented. When only a small percentage of the population votes, special interest groups win. Democracy only works when we all work at it.

Scams–Be Informed

  • You CANNOT vote from your electronic tablet or cell phone via online.  Many false notifications go out from some special interests groups encouraging you to actually vote online.  This is by design–they want you to vote online since they know there is not actual accounting of online votes. It’s wasting your vote.   These special interests groups know that and are happy to convince a great number of people will “vote online”, thus suppressing individual’s votes.
  • You CANNOT vote via phone. Again, no system is in place for anyone to “call in” their vote. Election laws prevent this.
  • Election Survey Scams: Be aware of pollsters asking your financial information.  Don’t give them obvious things like your social security number or bank information, but you can report any questionable sounding survey numbers to officials.  Furthermore, if they say you might win a prize, it’s probably a scam. You’re not obligated to answer polling questions, but you may. Just don’t share your personal information. Reputable pollsters do not ask for that information.
  • Campaign fund-raising scams.  They’ve gotten pretty good. They know your name and your political affiliation, but be certain if you chose to donate that you write down ALL contact information.  Generally, if you wish to donate, they should be able to direct you to a direct, secure website. Don’t give your banking information over the phone.
  • Voter Registration Scams- they may try to tell you that you have to register every time or that you have to register separately to absentee vote-  You only need to re-register if you have a change of address. Again, don’t provide personal information and go to the Secretary of State Election registration page to register free of scams.
  • Petition ploys. While less common than other scams, these can involve unscrupulous hot-button issues such as immigration, environmental issues, Supreme Court nominations etc.  When in fact, they may be soliciting names, addresses and phone numbers for more unwanted calls or even ID theft.  Sign wisely. Be sure you are signing an Actual petition from a reputable senator and research the information before you actually sign anything. Again, not via phone.

Registration

  • You must register if you have not registered in your current city/town.   Contact your local supervisor of elections at a national website:  U.S. Election Assistance Commission https://www.eac.gov/   
  • Another good source is the popular rockthevote.org website that gives registration deadlines no matter your state. Once you’re registered in your city/state, you are registered. You don’t have to re-register unless you move.
  • Registering to Vote – there are voter registration deadlines. Again, the same website has a list of those deadlines. https://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/calendar/2018cal
    • You have several options when it comes to registering to vote. You can download the application online, print and mail it or register in person.
    • Requirements to vote:  You must be 17 1/2 years of age to register and 18 years of age on the date of the election
      • You must be a US Citizen
      • Missouri resident
      • Visit the Missouri State Election site for information on registering and voting https://s1.sos.mo.gov/electionsMissouri Secretary of State
      • Registration for the Missouri Primary Election on August 7, 2018 must be completed by and postmarked by Wednesday, July 11, 2018.
      • Registration for the Missouri Mid-Term Election, ie General Election is October 10, 2018.  If you are reading this post, you’ve missed the registration for the Primary but can easily register to vote in the Mid-Term/General Election

VOTING

There are two ways you can vote.  You can physically show up to vote at your polling location on election day or you can absentee vote. Absentee voting must be done in advance.

Get Out The Vote

No matter your party affiliation, Let America Vote is a good organization because it encourages EVERYONE to vote!  You don’t have to subscribe to their political leanings to be informed on how to properly vote.  The purpose of LetAmericaVote.org is to reduce the amount of phony information there is out there regarding voter suppression policies, scams and explanation of your rights. You can sign up for text messages but the site does not poll you or have you register on their site. They provide information. You can download a Voter Guide. Jason Kander, founder is the former was the 39th Secretary of State of Missouri from 2013-2017.

Voting –  It’s a Privilege, Not Just a Duty

If it were never more apparent in our current world, the right to vote and have your vote counted is a democratic principle and fundamental of being a United States citizen. The right to organize and influence decisions through your personal vote is not a privilege every person in the world enjoys. Thousands of soldiers and patriots have died for each of us to have that right and use it. Since voting is a privilege, you should be an informed voter.  That does not mean that you should get your news from Facebook, Twitter or any other social media.  Look at the actual sources of your news and try to remember what your teachers of long ago told you about reputable news sources.

Pay Attention, Get Involved by Voting!

I know taking the time to vote can be an annoyance. If I had my way, voting days would be national holidays but I’m not making the rules.  Certain interest groups certainly hope that you will not make the time to vote. If you cannot show up to your designated polling location, take the few minutes to register to vote absentee.  I know not everyone can take an hour off on election day, but make your voice heard!

I’ve had to vote absentee on several occasion because my trial schedule out of town just would not permit me to vote in person.  I’m one of those employers who believe it is paramount to let my employees go vote, but that is not practical in all work environments. I’m sorry to see that. So, since they won’t be implementing my idea of a national holiday for voting, we are individuals will have to take action to be sure our vote is counted!