Saturday, October 23, 2010

Voting for my FL Friends

Mid term elections are next Tuesday and in Central Florida early voting ends next Saturday. I invested quite a bit of time researching the candidates and amendments on the ballot in Central Florida and that I would like to share.

To see a sample ballot for you area go here.

NPR is always a good place to start. They held debates between local candidates on the local broadcast called Intersections. You can look at their archives and listen to those 30 minute debates for your self here. The one between Jacobs and Segal was especially interesting, Kosmas and Adams basically spent their entire debate mudslinging which is always disheartening.

While their name is sill, I found Ballot Pedia to be very helpful. They lay out amendments in lay man's terms, list out what those for and against the amendment say and then try to outline how it will be funded and what impact it might have. I felt like I was getting the straight story instead of looking at extremist websites. They also do something similar for candidates.

An especially interested source was You can search for a candidate and see all of the commercials related to that candidate with a summary of how true or false the statements are as well as who funded the ad. Its a great resource in trying to sort through all of the mudslinging on TV. is a smart place to check if you're interested in how a candidate is funding their campaign.

Finally, when researching Senate and House Rep candidates I tried to put the facts into a comparison type of spreadsheet (which was challenging since there's no continuity) which I don't mind sharing here. I tried to keep it unbiased where possible.

Finally, I shamefully found myself having to research the differences between the House and Senate to understand the importance of my vote.

Something to keep in mind: An Incumbent (someone who already has the position and is running for re-election) has an 88% chance of keeping their seat.

  • House of Reps is the 1st group to vote on legistalation that will effec the entire nation
  • Fixed total of 435, with number from each state determined by state population
  • Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands each have 1 Representative included in that 435 as well
  • 2 year terms with no term limits (person can continue to run every election)
  • Qualifications: Must be 25 years old, must be US citizen for at least 7 years, must live in the state they want to represent
  • They earn $174,000 per year (plus many benefits)
  • Based on the population, Florida currently has 25 House Representatives
  • I am in the 24th District - which encompasses Orange, Brevard, Seminole and Volusia Counties
  • The House is currently in a Democratic Majority with Nancy Pelosi as the House Leader
  • Due to retirement etc. many incumbents are NOT running for re-election
  • The 2010 Mid Terms have more House seats up for a new candidate than there have been for decades
  • Senate is the 2nd group to vote on legislation that will effect the entire nation (after House)
  • Every state has 2 Senators (regardless of population)
  • Unlike the House, the Senate also has to consent to Cabinet memebers (who the President surrounds himself with), Federal Judges, Amassadors and more so they have more responsibility
  • Qualifications: Must be 30 years old, must be US citizen for at least 9 years, must live in the state they want to represent
  • Serve staggered 6 year term - every two years approx. 1/3 of seats in Senate are up for election with No Term Limits
  • They earn $174,000 per year (plus many benefits)
  • Florida currently has one Republican and one Democratic Senator
  • Incumbent (Democrat Bill Nelson) that would be up for re-election this mid-term is not running again
  • Senate is currently Democratic Majority so this Open Seat election could effect the majority
Don't forget to vote!

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