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
Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

News  

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

The Biden Administration’s Department of State announced that it will soon prohibit the importation of Russian ammunition into the United States. According to a release on the Department of State’s website, “[n]ew and pending permit applications ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Virginia: Terry McAuliffe Wants to Ban Guns, Register Gun Owners, and Restrict Carry

News  

Monday, October 18, 2021

Virginia: Terry McAuliffe Wants to Ban Guns, Register Gun Owners, and Restrict Carry

Virginians are increasingly exercising their Second Amendment rights. NICS Checks in the commonwealth were up more than 60-percent from 2019 to 2020. From 2019 to 2021 there was a 21-percent increase in the number of ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

NYSRPA Case Exposes Biden’s Anti-Second Amendment Bias, Vindicates Opposition to Garland

News  

Monday, October 18, 2021

NYSRPA Case Exposes Biden’s Anti-Second Amendment Bias, Vindicates Opposition to Garland

Further evidence of Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s contempt for the Second Amendment has emerged in recent weeks.

Idaho: Governor Little Signs Permitless Carry Expansion Legislation into Law

Friday, March 27, 2020

Idaho: Governor Little Signs Permitless Carry Expansion Legislation into Law

On Wednesday, Governor Brad Little signed important self-defense legislation, House Bill 516.  This permitless carry expansion legislation was sent to the Governor’s desk prior to the Legislature adjourning last week.

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

News  

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

DOJ has made clear that Garland’s selective definition of “civil rights” has no room for the Second Amendment...

Ohio: Senate Committee Hearing Constitutional Carry & Emergency Powers Bills

Monday, October 4, 2021

Ohio: Senate Committee Hearing Constitutional Carry & Emergency Powers Bills

Tomorrow, the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee is holding a second proponent testimony hearing for Senate Bill 215, the constitutional carry bill. In addition, Senate Bill 185, to guarantee that Second Amendment rights remain protected ...

The View Doesn’t Appreciate a Right

News  

Monday, October 18, 2021

The View Doesn’t Appreciate a Right

Women, and especially black women, are increasingly buying firearms for self-defense. This reality did not sit well with the hosts of a somehow still-running daytime talk show.

Wisconsin: Committee Hearing on Permitless Carry this Wednesday

News  

Monday, October 25, 2021

Wisconsin: Committee Hearing on Permitless Carry this Wednesday

On Wednesday, October 27, the Senate Committee on Insurance, Licensing, and Forestry is scheduled to consider Permitless Carry legislation, Senate Bill 619.

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.