Do you know what else is on your ballot?
Months of national hype might have you confused about today’s election. One might think the only candidates on today’s ballot would be Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
But in Mississippi, at least, four other presidential candidates will be hoping for your vote. Candidates from the Constitution, Libertarian, Green and Reform parties are all on the ballot. In Louisiana more than twice that many third-party candidates will be on the ballot.
Presidential candidates are not the only ones vying for votes today, though.
All four of Mississippi’s U.S. House representatives are on the ballot. Locally that pits incumbent Republican Rep. Gregg Harper fending off Reform Party challenger John “Luke” Pannell.
One of Mississippi’s U.S. Senate seats will also be on the ballot. Incumbent Republican Sen. Roger Wicker will face three challengers — including a Democrat who shares his name with former Vice President Al Gore.
Adams, Franklin and Wilkinson county voters will also select a Supreme Court Justice. Incumbent Mike Randolph faces challenger Talmadge Braddock.
Local Louisiana voters will select a U.S. Representative and face nine constitutional amendment options.
These lesser-hyped ballot options may be of greater long-term importance to local voters than who ultimately wins the White House.
America needs strong leadership, but locals need representatives in government that can be trusted and easily held accountable by local residents.
Please take the time to become educated about these “other” races before just casting a vote for a name that may seem familiar.