Election guide for dummies

If you don’t know who either of these guys are, don’t sweat it. Rick Lax has you covered with his last-minute guide to wading through the political muck.
Illustration: Ryan Olbrysh

Purposefully tuning out all things political? In the dark about next week’s big presidential face-off? Don’t be ashamed. You’re not alone. A lot of people know absolutely nothing about the election. Matter of fact, as an American, it’s your right to spend November 6 (that’s Election Day!) passed out on the couch. (Argentinians, Brazilians and Peruvians don’t have this right—they’re forced to vote.) But let’s say, for whatever reason, all of a sudden you want to exercise your right to vote. Consider this a last-minute study guide.

How do I vote? First you have to register.

How do I do that? If you haven’t done it already, it’s too late. Voter registration closed October 16.

At First Friday, this girl handed me a clipboard with some form on it—something about Nevada Registration. I filled it out, because she was cute and I wanted her number. Does that mean I’m registered? Yes.

Okay, now what? You have to choose between President Obama, Mitt Romney or some third-party candidate.

Third party? You mean someone aside from Obama or Romney can win this thing? No.

Okay, then who is this Romney guy? He ran the Olympics and he ran Massachusetts and he ran an investment company.

How’d he do? Really well.

Sounds good to me! Not so fast. Remember, just because a guy is good at investing and has enviable hair doesn’t mean he’ll be good at governing America.

Then how do I know who to pick? Let me ask you a question: Do you think you should get to keep all of the money you make?

Absolutely. Then you should vote for Romney.

Okay. But let me ask you this, too: Do you think the government has a responsibility to make sure everybody in America has decent health care?

Absolutely. Then you should vote for Obama.

Wait a second ... You can’t have it both ways!

This isn’t helping; this is doublespeak. I still have no idea what the candidates really stand for. Sounds like you’re ready to vote!

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