No, this is not a bad joke, but what you will hear when candidates come to your door askng you to vote for them. And voting is no joke.
The election in November will be a critical one for Minnesota. Although this is said of every election, with the budget deficit facing Minnesotans and with the downturn in the economy, this is truer than ever. Services for people with disabilities are likely to face serious and devastating cuts come January 2003.
What can you do to help prevent this? Action steps everyone can take are: read about the candidates in the newspapers, watch or listen to debates on television and radio, attend public policy forums in your district, and form an educated opinion about the individuals who are running for elected office.
As candidates appear at public events, or at our doors canvassing for votes, asking a few well thought-out questions may help in the decision making process. Here are a couple of examples:
1. How do you propose to solve the budget deficit, and what do you perceive the impact will be on services for persons with disabilities?
2. What steps will you take to ensure a more diverse workforce, inclusive of people with disabilities, in Minnesota? What actions will you take to facilitate maintenance of employment status and encourage vocational growth for persons with disabilities?
Beyond these questions, be prepared think of the issues of importance to you and have your own questions ready.
Also, there are several ways to register to vote: you can contact the Secretary of State’s office or your county auditor (listed in the government section of the phone book), or you can register when you go to vote with your picture identification and proof of current address (for example, your electric bill). Remember to make a difference and get out and vote on November 5!