It's a presidential election year! And surprisingly, many registered voters do not take the time to vote. According to the 2011 Indiana Civic Health Index, Indiana is ranked quite low in both voter registration and voter turnout. Our state is down in both categories from the national average, and down over the last 5 years. The index reads:
"Indiana ranked 48th in voter turnout among citizens (age 18+) in 2010, with a turnout rate of 39.4%, six percentage points lower than the national average of 45.5%. Indiana's voter turnout in 2006 was 45.5%, two percentage points lower than the national average of 47.8%, which ranked the state 36th in the nation. Indiana ranked 43rd among all states in the rate of citizens who are registered to vote, at 61.2%. Indiana's voter registration rate in 2006 was 65.4%. National voter registration rate for all eligible citizens in 2010 was 65.1% and 67.6% in 2006."
Benjamin Harrison V began the Harrison family political and public servant legacy as a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and then three-time Governor of Virginia in the late 18th century. William Henry Harrison followed in his father's footsteps and became Governor of the new Indiana Territory, and later became 9th President of the United States in the 1840 general election. John Scott Harrison, Benjamin Harrison's father, served as an Ohio congressman. Benjamin Harrison continued to pair the family name with politics by securing a Senate seat in 1881 and one term as 23rd U.S. President in 1889. Each of these men was extremely proud to be American and make strides to greatly improve American life. Benjamin Harrison often hailed patriotism and our nation's flag in his speeches, including this one to the people of Boise, Idaho, on May 8, 1891:
"I am glad to see that this banner of liberty, this flag of our fathers...is held in honor and estimation among you. Every man should take off his hat when the starry flag moves by. It symbolizes a free republic; it symbolizes a nation; not an aggregation of States, but one compact, solid government in all its relations to the nations of the earth. Let us always hold it in honor. I am glad to see that it floats, not only over your political Capitol, but over the school houses of your State; the children should be taught in the primary schools to know its story and to love it."
When November 6, 2012, arrives...we encourage you to VOTE. But first, and soon, you must register by Tuesday, October 9, 2012, to be eligible to vote in this election. Your vote counts and it is important. More helpful links are below.
To register to vote, click here.
To find out if you are currently registered, click here.
To find your candidates, click here.
To know the candidates better, click here.
To access debate schedules, click here.
To find your Indiana polling place, click here.
To access the League of Women Voters, click here.
Perhaps most importantly, encourage your friends, colleagues, family and neighbors to take all of these steps to make an informed vote!