Don't let anyone tell you how to vote

Pamela Skogstad

Voting is an individual privilege, vote your conscience not that of an organized group.Voters need to take a step back and really think about why they are voting for a candidate, is it the influence of a small group of people making a decision for the masses or truly the "gut feeling" of the individual voter. Do not let a few decide your vote, rather research what a candidate has to offer and make your own decision.

A couple of weeks prior I had a heated discussion with our Alaska Education Association president, I was not happy with the decision of the 10 NEA representatives who interview candidates, then endorse the candidate of their choice, supposedly speaking for ALL teachers. I am voting for Scott McAdams, he is a solid candidate, fresh with new ideas, does not use negative campaigning. The AEA president told me, yes, told me I need to stick to K-12 issues! I told the AEA president I could not believe that one, "told me" how to vote, and two, how dare he treat me like I do not understand the voting process.

Voters need to educate themselves on the issues, and candidates. Do not let sound bites from media personnel who are making money soliciting your vote influence your decision, do not take for granted that a few who represent a majority are truly representing you. With the majority of our products made in China, a legislature which works towards getting elected, not serving the people, a population which is disconnected from a war, sacrifice of few for many, wondering why jobs are shipped overseas, we as voters need to pay attention to our individual right before a few take away the rights of the majority.

Voters need to ask the tough questions and demand answers from their legislator's, and candidates. Here is a critical question: "Who is regulating products from China?" I would guess no one, as I recently bought a dog bed made in China, my daughter in law who checks product labels told me to read the label, the label said to not let humans touch the product if there was any tear in the covering, keep children away, this is unbelievable and frightening! What was in this product? Why the warning for humans not to touch if torn? This is only a dog bed, what about the millions of products shipped in from China? Water bottles, children's toys? We as voters need to be engaged in what our politicians are doing, how they are voting, who is funding their campaigns, it is critical for the future of our nation!

Wouldn't it be refreshing to have clean elections, no media sound bites, just honest debates among candidates. Money, greed, and power are dividing this country, it's ALL about the money, who has enough to "buy" an election. Where are the candidates who are asking voters to get involved, bringing parties together, working together as a nation, educating our children on how critical it is to have a nation united, not divided working towards a common goal? How many great candidates are ready, willing to serve but do not have the money to do so, how sad for this country!

Pamela Skogstad has been a special physical education teacher for 25 years and is chair of the National Legislative Education Committee. She lives in Hope