By Kayla Lemay
True or false: the most important election an American citizen can vote in is the Presidential Election.
And now, here’s why.
Think back to your dreaded American History and Intro to American Government classes. We have this thing called the Electoral College. The Electoral College is the body that actually votes for the President – not the citizens. They play no part in the election of Senators, Governors, Representatives, etc.
Coming up on Nov. 4, we have the Gubernatorial election, which is when we elect a new Governor and Lt. Governor. These positions are voted on by us, the citizens of Massachusetts. Why should you care, though?
The easiest way to think about it is that the Governor is basically the “President” of Mass. He has the Senate and House of Representatives working with him, who make up the state Congress. There is the state Judicial branch as well. He’s the one that signs the bills into law, or vetoes them.
But who is even running for Governor in Mass.?
Well, we have five candidates. One Republican, one Democrat, and three Independents. The Republican, Charlie Baker, and the Democrat, Martha Coakley, are the top two candidates as of right now. It’s a very tight race, with most polls projecting Baker leading by anywhere from none (a tie) to 6 percent. Still, neither are over 50%, which you need in order to win.
What do these two top contenders stand for?
Coakley has a broad amount of issues listed on her website, marthacoakley.com, ranging from Education to Veterans.
According to On the Issues, a company that profiles politicians based on their voting records, statements to the media, and other factors, Coakley strongly favors issues such as high taxes on the wealthy, and never legalizing marijuana. She opposes vouchers for school choice and absolute rights to gun ownership.
Baker, on the other hand, has less issues listed on his website, charliebaker2014.com. He also has a lot more “Unknowns” in his On the Issues profile, though this may be from a lack of holding office prior to his run for governor in 2010.
He is strongly in favor of green energy, and believe that a woman’s right to an abortion is her own choice. He opposes expanding Obamacare and strongly opposes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
To learn more about each candidate, including the Independent ones, be sure to use Google and discover what you can about each of their policies. I personally recommend ballotpedia.org, which is essentially the Wikipedia of elections, to get the best overview on each candidate.
Kayla Lemay is the Editor-in-Chief of The Comment. Follow her on Twitter at @klemay123.