Know your ballot and cast your vote

By Darien Arnstein and Jennifer Bernstein

This is a critical time for our country.  We are preparing to elect the President of the United States for the next four years, as well as a senator, congressional representatives and many Missouri legislative representatives.  There are also important ballot issues this election cycle in our state.  

Voting this November is not only essential, but it is also our right, privilege and duty.  The issues at stake disproportionately affect women, and given our hard-earned right to vote, women’s participation in these elections in particular should be a high priority.  This general election may be the most important election of our lifetime.  It will impact you and those in your life.  It’s about your job, your health, your community and your future.

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In this election National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) – St. Louis Section is focused on a variety of issues — from reproductive rights to economic security, from the kinds of judges who will preside in our courts to how our children and grandchildren will be educated.  NCJW’s priorities are women, children, families and every issue that will affect them.  Each of us has the power to impact these critical issues, but only if we exercise our right to vote.  We ask you not only to pledge your own vote, but to urge everyone you know here and across the country to vote as well.

Among the ballot issues to consider, NCJW urges you to vote “NO” on Constitutional Amendment 3, which would make changes in the current “Missouri Court Plan” for selection of judges in Missouri.  Our current judicial selection process has been a successful model for many other states, and works well here.  We see no need to “tweak” a working system, and the changes would likely inject more partisan influence on the judicial selection process.

NCJW supports a “YES” on Proposition B, which will increase the tobacco tax.  This will provide additional funding for education and for smoking cessation programs, and could discourage smoking leading to improved health outcomes in our community.

NCJW urges you to vote “NO” on Proposition E, which would limit the process to develop a state health exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act.

On Election Day Nov. 6, polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.   If you can’t be there in person, you have until Oct. 31 to submit a mailed or faxed request for an absentee ballot.  College students living away from home can request a Missouri absentee ballot be mailed to them at school in order to participate in this important election.  For St. Louis County voters, an absentee ballot can be printed from this link:  For general Missouri voting information and absentee ballot documents, use this link:  You can also vote by absentee in person at your local election authority office until 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5..

Whether you vote early, absentee or at your polling place on Election Day, affirm your commitment as a United States citizen and the issues you care about.  Your vote is critical on behalf of the candidates who support the issues you deem important.  Don’t let others make that choice for you by not voting.  Your vote really does count.