Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Political Report: Every Vote Counts

Friday, November 16, 2007

POLITICAL REPORT

CHRIS COX, NRA-ILA Executive Director

Every Vote Counts

The newspaper is out there in the driveway every morning. With the way things have been going in Washington, lately I've been feeling like I should poke it with a stick before I pick it up.

The media celebrates every time a lawmaker retires from his seat, seeing an opportunity to gossip and speculate. All I see is work ahead. That seat will now have to be filled, and that means there will be an election. With the incumbent out of the picture, these elections are wide open.

The same is true when lawmakers quit to take another job, or are unable to continue their service due to illness or death. We've seen all of these situations this year, and more may be coming.

Every voter who decides the state elections aren't worth the time will be surrendering the opportunity to help shape the U.S. Senate race in 2008, and maybe even shift control of the Senate itself.

Regardless of circumstance, that seat has to be filled, whether with a special election or an open contest on the next regular ballot. And that means our work is never done.

Please cast aside the temptation to assume that these special elections and open seat races are rare and isolated events, separate and aside from our regular election work. The truth is that every election matters, and every election has implications for the ones that will follow.

Here's one example: Virginia will have its regular off-year elections this November to elect state lawmakers. Virginia u.s. Senator John Warner has just announced he will not run again in 2008. Now, the upcoming state elections have become a bellwether for the Senate race next year. The outcome of this year's state elections will determine which candidates enter the race for next year's Senate contest. The relative strength of these candidates, of course, will determine who wins the Senate seat, and perhaps shift the balance of power in the Senate.

Turnout is historically low in the off-year state elections, so every voter who does cast a ballot will have a larger impact on the outcome. Every voter who decides the state elections aren't worth the time will be surrendering the opportunity to help shape the u.s. Senate race in 2008, and maybe even shift control of the Senate itself.

No election is an isolated event. Besides Virginia, four other states have gubernatorial or state legislative elections in this off year--Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky and New Jersey. The contests in all of these states will have a ripple effect that leads directly to Washington. That ripple effect will determine our strength in defending the Second Amendment.

Even if you don't live in those states, your turn is still coming fast in the presidential race. Many states are jockeying to move their primary elections further and further up in the schedule. Every state wants to be relevant in the primary process, and that means they're no longer willing to accept Iowa and New Hampshire's historical status as the leaders of the pack. Some states could even hold their 2008 presidential primaries before

2007 is over. You might have less time to get ready for the presidential campaign than you have to do your Christmas shopping.

Are you ready to vote? If you recently moved, you will need to update your voter registration. Most states close registration well ahead of elections, by 30 days in most cases. So if a presidential primary comes to your state in 2007, your window for updating your registration may be closing now. The same is true for new registrations, so if you're going to update your own, take the time to recruit some friends, family or other shooters who aren't registered at all, and get them on the voter rolls.

The timeframe is even tighter for those serving abroad in our armed forces. Our nation can project military power anywhere on the globe, but a full collection of absentee ballots for every state isn't generally on the packing list. The Congress has passed laws to try and streamline military voting, and the Department of Defense has worked to help, but as recently as last year the Congressional Accountability Office issued a report entitled "Department of Defense Expands Voting Assistance to Military Absentee Voters, But Challenges Remain."

We all remember the razor-thin margin of victory in the 2000 presidential race. Barely more than 500 voters made the difference between George W. Bush and Al Gore. But military ballots were still coming in, after the deadline. We shouldn't have to debate whether service members should have the right to vote in a timely fashion, but the truth is that many still don't. And the bottom line is that a late ballot is a wasted ballot. If you know someone serving overseas, ask him or her if you can help get the right absentee ballot, in time to make it count.

It's not just the presidential race that was close. In the past two cycles, dozens of House seats were won or lost by margins of a couple hundred votes. If you think your vote doesn't matter, you're just plain wrong.

But that doesn't mean you have to go it alone. There are many tools at your disposal at our website,www.nraila.org. We have links to state websites, and procedures for registration and obtaining absentee ballots. If you can't find what you need, just give us a call at 1 (800) 392-vote, and we'll be happy to help.

But don't wait. Every day that newspaper lands in the driveway means we're another day closer to the next election. Our strength is at the polls--and for the next 12 months, we're going to need every bit of it.

TRENDING NOW
Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

Jack Wilson – a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. – is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow ...

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Today, January 22nd, legislation was introduced in the Alabama Legislature to create a new lifetime carry permit for state residents.

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

On January 23rd, the Washington Senate Law & Justice Committee approved three anti-gun bills, among them Senate Bill 6077 to ban most standard capacity magazines. These bills are now headed to the Rules Committee awaiting being pulled ...

California: Firearm & Ammo Tax Bill Returns

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

California: Firearm & Ammo Tax Bill Returns

On Thursday, January 23, the Assembly Appropriations Committee has scheduled Assembly Bill 18, a returning anti-gun measure that was sent to the committee suspense filed last year.    

Second Amendment Rally Seems to Have Anti-Gun Extremists Disappointed … That it was so Peaceful

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Second Amendment Rally Seems to Have Anti-Gun Extremists Disappointed … That it was so Peaceful

In the days leading up to the annual lobby day in Richmond, Va.—where thousands of Virginians traditionally lobby their legislators on numerous issues – an unprecedented number of supporters of the Second Amendment were expected ...

Bloomberg-Bought Virginia General Assembly Ignores Peaceful Redress, Advances More Gun Control

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Bloomberg-Bought Virginia General Assembly Ignores Peaceful Redress, Advances More Gun Control

Despite the peaceful, orderly, and diverse gun rights protest that attracted tens of thousands of law-abiding gun owners to the state capitol, Virginia’s Michael Bloomberg-bought General Assembly has continued to push forward a radical anti-gun agenda.

Trump Administration Publishes Historic Rulemaking to Modernize America’s Firearm Export Regime

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Trump Administration Publishes Historic Rulemaking to Modernize America’s Firearm Export Regime

On Jan. 23, the Trump administration published rules that will be a boon to the United States firearms industry and all who utilize its products. The new regulations will become effective March 9, 2020.

New Hampshire: Bill to Shut Down Shooting Ranges Set for Committee Hearing

Thursday, January 16, 2020

New Hampshire: Bill to Shut Down Shooting Ranges Set for Committee Hearing

On January 23rd, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 469, sponsored by Senator Jeanne Dietsch (D – District 9), at 10:00 AM in Room 100 of the State ...

“Journalist” Can’t Decide: Slumping Gun Sales or Best Year Ever?

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

“Journalist” Can’t Decide: Slumping Gun Sales or Best Year Ever?

On the eve of the annual Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, Associated Press reporter Lisa Marie Pane wrote an article titled, “Gun industry gathers amid slumping sales, rising tensions.” But it ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.