We are living in unprecedented times. . .
A pandemic is not only impacting our health but our livelihoods and our very liberties. Signs of patriotism have given way to condemnation and tearing down of any symbols of our country’s history. The political landscape is increasingly polarized to the point where we no longer recognize any commonalities. We don’t understand why our politicians are pushing an agenda that is ever more hostile to people who believe in life, family, and faith. Even the very institutions we look to for safety and protection are under attack. It is understandable many of us are fearful of what the future holds.
Take heart. You are not alone, and you are not powerless.
If ever there was a time to step up, it’s now. Even one person who channels their feelings of helplessness into positive action helps stem the tide. And, just imagine the power of each of us just influencing one other person to do the same.
But, where to start? Why not right where you are by working to put the people in office at the local and state level who will represent your interests? With votes on issues overwhelmingly along partisan lines, the individuals you elect for office are critical to guarding the people of New Hampshire against misguided legislation. Just a look at any of our legislative updates over the past couple of years will give you a small taste of what we’re up against.
And, often just a handful of votes spells the difference for a candidate. For example, in 2018, Senate Districts 12 and 23 in New Hampshire were decided by just over a hundred votes – less than one-half of one percent of all votes cast. The House race in Belknap 9 was decided by just 35 votes — .4 of one percent.
Every single vote does count.
So, what can one voter do?
The better informed you are, the more you can empower others.Know Your Dates.
New Hampshire holds its primary election on Tuesday, September 8th and the general on Tuesday, November 3.
Know Who Your Candidates Are.
The Secretary of State’s Office is responsible for conducting elections and maintains a current list of candidates along with their addresses. Many NH House and Senate candidates host their own websites and/or Facebook pages. Once you find your candidates, cross check to see if Cornerstone has endorsed any of them.
Know Voter Registration Requirements.
Urge everyone you know to register. The easiest way is at the town or city clerk’s office. Residents may register at their polling place on election day if they have not done so already.
Research and Ask Questions.
All too often, we make voting decisions based on little or no information or on a personal impression. For general election information, start with Cornerstone’s endorsements and election page. Read the candidate’s website and/or Facebook page and know where he/she stands on the issues that are important to you. Dig deeper by looking at survey results such as Cornerstone’s 2020 Scorecard.
Even more powerful, though, can be getting answers to your own questions. This is also a great way to gauge a candidate’s responsiveness and accessibility – important traits to have once they take office. (You may find information on Cornerstone’s blog such as our commentary, legislative updates, written testimony, and op-eds helpful in understanding some of the legislative challenges lawmakers are facing.) Beyond the answers, ask yourself if the candidate shares your core values and is ready to stand for those beliefs.
Get the Word Out.
Consider volunteering for a candidate you particularly believe in or sponsoring a candidate forum to invite local candidates to directly share their platform and views with voters (local community halls can be a good venue for this or even your deck or patio). Encourage your friends and neighbors to register to vote and share why you care and are supporting the candidates you are.
It’s one thing to read an action list. It’s another to find the courage and resolve to take action. As an organization, Cornerstone has been in the trenches a long time, and we understand taking action can feel intimidating. And, we’ll be honest. It’s never been more challenging than it is now. The negativity and pushback are more aggressive than ever. Our system of government and the safeguards we have enjoyed for centuries are under attack as never before. But that’s why we know the need for answers has never been more critical, and we can never have a greater impact than we will now.
It’s time for principled people of conscience to be heard above the din of chaos and dissolution of our society and culture. The values we share are exactly what the world needs — faith, family, freedom. We’ve seen what happens when we give ground to those who would undermine those precious gifts and replace love and grace with condemnation, division, and hate. We owe it to ourselves, our families, and our future generations to stand up now for what we know is right by supporting those who are willing to fight for us and our founding principles in New Hampshire and our federal government. Know that you can make a difference and resolve to take the first step. The rest will follow.