By: John Michael PierobonJohn Michael Pierobon is an Internet consultant based in Fort Lauderdale.
The political conventions are now over and the fall campaign season is about to begin. This November, Americans will be casting ballots for all kinds of political offices from dog catcher to president and every office in between.
This is the first major election in which politicians are effectively using the World Wide Web to raise funds, explain their positions, and campaign for office. Early during the primary season, John McCain used his Web site to help finance his campaign. George W. Bush registered numerous derogatory domain names so his political enemies could not use them against him. Ralph Nader and Al Gore have their own Web sites.
Candidates cannot fully explain their positions in a television ad, but they can do so on their Web site. Many smaller candidates cannot afford air time on television, but they can afford to have a Web site.
Everyone is getting into the act, including those running for a seat on the board of their condominium association. Manuel Blanco, a reader of the wrote to me about his Web page on issues affecting his condominium association. Even my home owners association has a Web site.
Candidates tend to distort the voting records of their opponents on television and on the radio. You should not be misled. Voting records of members of Congress may be found by visiting http://thomas.loc.gov. Information about the Florida legislature may be found by visiting http://www.leg.state.fl.us. These two Web sites are also excellent resources to find out what bills are being considered by these legislative bodies.
There are also many issue advocacy Web sites. They tend to be biased in favor of their special interest.
Well known for its defense of the Second Amendment, the National Rifle Association has added a section to its Web site on voter registration laws in each state, as well as other interesting information.
In some third world countries, where democracy, and free and fair elections are suspect, voting is mandatory. In America, where democratic institutions are strong, only half of eligible voters vote. Some of these voters cast uninformed votes.
Register to vote! Use the World Wide Web to find out about the candidates and the issues, and cast an informed vote.
© 2000 - 2006 John Michael Pierobon