Exercising the Missourian vote

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State midterm elections to take place Nov. 4

The 2014 elections are just around the corner, and on Tuesday, Nov. 4, St. Louis residents will get the opportunity to vote on several key offices and propositions.

In the national congressional election, St. Louisians only have one office to vote for: the member of Missouri’s 1st congressional district in the House of Representatives.  This race sees Republican challenger Dan Elder attempt to take the seat of longtime Democrat incumbent Lacey Clay.

Elder’s platform overview, which can be found on his official campaign website, promises more freedoms at home and less action abroad.  In terms of marriage, Elder seeks to ensure that all citizens have the same inalienable rights regardless of sexual orientation, race, or religion.  In regards to the Internet and drugs, Elder hopes to give users more options, saying that attempting to regulate and control the Internet will only hurt it, and that the war on drugs is costing too many damaged lives and increased debt.  In regards to marijuana usage, he campaigns for less regulation, allowing adults to “decide what is best for themselves.”

On the economic side of things, Elder is hoping to “reduce regulat[ions] and tax burdens on small business owners which employ over 50% of [the nation’s] workforce” and wants to abolish the income tax in favor of a national sales tax, which he believes will be less burdensome and more fair to everyone.

Overall, his stance is fairly straightforward: bring the troops home to focus America’s defense on American soil.  In doing so, Elder wants to “put our nation in position to be friends with outer countries rather than forcing our will by withholding military assistance”.

Longtime-congressman Clay’s voting record speaks strongly towards his political platform.  Congressman Clay favors opening marriage to all sexual orientations, and has a strong record of voting against “man and woman” marriage definitions, while for increased civil rights for homosexuals.  In the drug arena, he favors increasing funds for the war on drugs in Mexico, but is opposed to building a physical wall between the two nations.

In regards to the Internet, Clay has voted against Net neutrality and, in 2013, voted “yes” on protecting cyber security by sharing data with government.

In foreign affairs, Clay has consistently voted for removing troops and voted against any type of foreign action that does not have a specified end date.

A third party challenger, Robb Cunningham, is running for the Libertarian party.  An encompassing or summative profile of his stances on specific issues is difficult for the average Missourian to find, but, according to his official Facebook page, “Libertarian Robb Cunningham”, he is running under fairly standard libertarian values: “The Missouri Libertarian Party is committed to equipping grassroots activists at the state and local level with the tools and resources needed to hold elected officials and government accountable and elect new and qualified candidates…  We must repeal “Obamacare”. We need to reform the tax code. We need to give Americans more choice over their education, health care and economic futures”.

Other important measures on the ballot include the four-legistlatively referred constitutional amendments in Missouri.

In a brief summary, Amendment 2 “renders prior criminal acts admissible in court during child sexual abuse trials”, Amendment 3 “implements performance evaluation for teachers tied to pay, raises, etc.”, Amendment 6 “establishes a six-day-long early voting period”, and Amendment 10 “prohibits the governor from estimating available state revenues when making budget recommendations under certain legislative circumstances.”

SLU students planning to vote in the St. Louis district, make sure to bring identification to the polls.    Any one of the following will be accepted in Missouri; an ID issued by the Federal Government, state of Missouri, or a local election authority; ID issued by a Missouri institution (public or private) of higher education, including a university, college, vocational or technical school; a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter; or driver’s license or state identification card issued by another state.

There are several different places where polls will be located, and SLU has made it easy to find the closest one.  Searching “Voting at SLU” in the SLU website search bar will lead voters to a page filled with location and other election information.