Election Day 2016 is November 8. In these last days leading up to the election, candidates are vying for your vote. You may receive phone calls, visits from volunteer door knockers, or even a direct appeal from the candidate. As you walk to your polling place for early voting or on Election Day, you may pass dozens of workers with signs, stickers, and hand-outs who seek a last-minute chance to influence your vote. A candidate may introduce him or herself and offer to shake your hand.
If they ask for a moment of your time—give it to them.
It doesn’t matter if you support that candidate or not. Take advantage of this opportunity to make a statement on behalf of your dogs, your sport, and your breeding program. Rather than hanging up the phone, shutting the door, or replying “no thanks” and walking by, use that moment to let them know their actions on canine issues are important to you as a voter.
Most voters carefully consider many issues when deciding how to cast their vote. However, a candidate’s position on canine issues may not be a readily visible part of their platform. If you wish to learn more about a candidate’s positions on canine issues prior to the election, now is the time to ask! The Candidate Survey in the AKC GR toolbox provides an excellent resource for questions.
If you ascertain that a candidate’s past support of anti-dog legislation, affiliation with animal rights extremist groups, or answers to your canine policy questions are unacceptable, politely tell them that you do not agree with their positions on dog ownership issues, and this has influenced your vote.
On the other hand, when a candidate has worked to protect the rights of dog owners, has advanced good canine policy, and has voted against bad canine policy, this is great time to express your thanks.
Regardless of whether you do or do not vote for the candidate—and you are under no obligation to share this information—you can seize these opportunities to express your opinion.
In hotly contested elections, a single vote can decide the outcome, especially in local races. That single vote—your vote—could determine the future for dogs and dog owners in your community. Make your voice and vote count for the dogs you love.