State Legislative Guide
It’s time to play ball
Lawmakers listen when you're registered to vote

OOIDA is continuing its efforts to get all truckers to vote. An Association poll showed that the majority of OOIDA members who responded to the poll do take part in elections.

The most effective way to accomplish this task is to register to vote and then be sure to cast a ballot when elections roll around. If you aren’t already registered, get your name on the list and join the rest of the truckers who cast ballots to effect change.

Being an active, registered voter makes you a player with your elected officials. They can’t find out how you voted in any given election, but they can and do keep track of which of their constituents are registered voters who vote regularly. Those facts are public, easily accessed records.

OOIDA staff and members say they’ve noticed a huge difference in response when a registered, regular voter contacts an elected official compared with a nonvoter who calls or writes. If you’re not even registered, the lawmakers know you can’t vote against them. Why should they take notice of your questions or concerns?

In most states, you can register to vote in person or by mail. Depending on which state you live in, you can print your registration form from the Internet or pick one up in person from the Department of Motor Vehicles, local board of elections office, post office, library or other locations. Contact your local elections office or secretary of state’s office for specifics.

Listings for these offices can usually be found in the “government pages” section of your local phone book.

Once you are registered, be sure to vote.

Admittedly, the work schedule of the professional trucker can often make voting a difficult exercise, one for which a bit of early planning is sometimes needed.

To aid voters who aren’t able to visit the polling booth on Election Day, many states allow advance voting and mail-in ballots in addition to traditional absentee ballots. A handful of states even offer permanent absentee ballots.

Your local elections office or secretary of state’s office can tell you what options are available in your state.

And if all else fails, make time to head to the polls on Election Day. LL