Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.
Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/385759
36 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.14 On Tuesday, Nov. 4, Americans will go to the voting booth. Governors will be elected in 36 states; all seats in the U.S. House of Repre - sentatives and a third of the U.S. Senate will be voted upon. With this much of Congress running for election or re-election, turnout is going to be important. Election results will de - cide the political landscape in which you op- erate your golf course for the next two years. According to the United States Election Project at George Mason University, during the 2010 midterm election, only 41 percent of the eligible voting population actually turned out to vote, meaning only four out of 10 people helped elect the governors in 36 states. Turn - out in the 2012 national election was 58 per- cent, but this is not uncommon in years with a presidential race. The 2010 redistricting process created Con - gressional districts that are more gerrymandered and partisan than ever. When you couple redis - tricting with low voter turnout in midterm elec- tions, many members of Congress know they don't have to work hard to be re-elected, which contributes to the current gridlock we are expe - riencing in Washington, D.C. Despite these challenges, it is important for GCSAA members representing the golf course management profession to get out and vote this November. Elected offcials make import - ant decisions about how the golf course man- agement profession is going to be treated, and it's a key way to have a say in our democracy. As an association with members in all 50 states, GCSAA offers several recommenda - tions for participating in this important polit- ical activity. Register to vote. This is the most important action to take before going to the polls. Every state has different regulations on the deadlines for registering in order to vote in the Novem - ber elections. Check with your local secretary of state's offce to fnd out what your deadline is and how you can get registered in time to vote in November. In addition to getting yourself regis - tered, check with others at your course and in your chapters to make sure they are registered as well. The No. 1 reason why people aren't cor - rectly registered to vote is that they have moved, and the correct address is essential. Research the candidates. Knowing who you are voting for is as important as registering to vote. GCSAA has several resources available to help you learn about candidates. Check the re - sources section of Government Relations On- line to learn about who is running in your area and their positions on issues. In the future, pri - mary elections will also be equally important for our members. Identify the initiatives. A characteristic of an informed voter is that he or she knows about initiatives that are on the ballot. Large states like California have a very simple process for citizens to put referendums or initiatives on the ballot. In other states, the process for add - ing items to the ballot is a little more diffcult. However, what is important is that you are aware of the initiatives that are on the ballot and how they will affect you and your course. Get out and vote. The preparation to vote takes a little bit of time, but the process is rel - atively easy, thanks to the 2002 Help America Vote Act. All states offer early voting, which allows voters the opportunity to vote if they can't get to the polls on Election Day. Some states also open their polls the weekend before Election Day in order to make voting as easy as possible. This month, the GCSAA Grassroots Am - bassadors will be registering others to vote at chapter meetings and at their facilities. In No - vember, they will be encouraging other GCSAA members to become informed on issues and candidates and to go to the polls and vote. We want you to join GCSAA on social media and use the hashtag #golfvotes. As we continue our grassroots efforts, we will use this social media campaign to show members of Congress that not only does golf have an eco - nomic impact in their districts, but its workers vote as well. Kaelyn Seymour is GCSAA's government relations specialist. (advocacy) Kaelyn Seymour firstname.lastname@example.org twitter: @GCSAA Election results will decide the political landscape in which you operate your golf course for the next two years. Act now, vote later Photo by Igor Stevanovic/Shutterstock.com