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OPINION: Cramming for the 2016 Election

After 24 years away from 4 a.m. test cramming by the light of my college desk lamp, nothing's changed about my old, ingrained habits. I still put off getting down to business on important stuff I'm unsure about.

After 24 years away from 4 a.m. test cramming by the light of my college desk lamp, nothing's changed about my old, ingrained habits. I still put off getting down to business on important stuff I'm unsure about.

Go ahead and be appalled if you must, but I waited until the last minute on getting my in-depth studying done on ballot issues and the candidates' positions on hot topics. It wasn't until 4 a.m. election morning when I started to prepare myself for partaking in my civic right to cast my vote at the election polls. Between the recent daylight savings time change and my inability to stay asleep beyond 4 a.m., being awake at such an hour gave me uninterrupted study time. I evaluated the issues until I fully understood them and clearly grasped the pros and cons to a yes or no vote on each ballot issue.

Similarly to the days of yore at college, I procrastinated on doing my own research and finding out more about this election's ballot issues I was familiar with but not 100 percent confident I understood and how I wanted to vote. This has been the norm anytime I've ever felt uncertain about information I needed to know for any reason. I waited to read up and analyze until it got down to the wire and I had to find some answers.

Before my election day cram session, I was aware of the ballot issues and candidates, but needed to reevaluate the candidates' positions on issues that were important to me and to get unbiased information on their political platforms. As a U.S. citizen I have the right to choose what to watch on YouTube, Facebook or a television set, as well as what I choose to read on political flyers and people's opinions in the newspaper.

I embraced my legal rights and avoided exposing my mind to political drama and backbiting early in the election game. I overheard plenty of misinformed opinions and one-sided conversations that I got roped into listening to already. My procrastination cram session was not all bad. I was forced to sift out all the political candidacy slamming, backbiting, dirt-digging and finger-pointing debates, commercials and ballot issue persuading so I could get right down to finding out the facts on every issue and candidate. I didn't have the time for anything else. I'm not a sheep-follower or someone who believes whatever the media says is the truth. I do my own investigating through reputable resources rather than hastily agreeing with the opinions of others based on what they've heard or interpreted. Not having cable, satellite, or even local stations that we can get to come in where we live has been a handy excuse for dodging getting involved in heated political conversations.

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To avoid wasting valuable election day study time and create further indecision, I opted to focus mostly on reading about candidacy platforms rather than watching lengthy videos of them discussing the issues. I had the opportunity to watch all of the presidential debates online but didn't spend much time watching any of them. From what I did see, the best and most worthwhile ones to watch were on Saturday Night Live.

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