What about the single parent vote?

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How should single parents vote? Many single parents may be wondering who is the best candidate to address their specific needs. Is the Republican party more concerned about single parents? Maybe it’s the Democrats, after all President Barack Obama was raised in a single parent home. This can be tough terrain to navigate. If you are currently unemployed or underemployed, you may believe it’s time to give another candidate a chance to turn the job situation around. If you or your child don’t have health insurance you may believe Obamacare is your saving grace. But before you cast your ballot, think carefully not just about the candidate but about their political party. Because whether Mitt Romney or Barack Obama is in the White House this November, the President will have to garner cooperation from both parties to get legislation passed. Which candidate will have greater success in getting legislation important to the single parent passed? A better question may be which candidate cares more about the single parent demographic?

Interestingly enough, I have not witnessed either political party paying specific attention to the single parent demographic. I have seen the parties seem to woo the female vote, the gay vote and the Hispanic vote, but what about the single moms and single dads? The single parent faces unique issues that cannot be covered by focusing on gender or sexual orientation voter wooing.

What about the statistics? Single parent homes have a higher poverty rate than married families and they are also more likely to be without health insurance or be underinsured.

So, as a single parent, how should you vote? I am not going to tell you who to vote for or whether one party is better than the other. I will tell you to exercise your right to vote! In this great democratic nation of ours, many have died and made sacrifices to secure your right to vote. You, me, all of us owe that much to those who have died protecting our freedoms and rights. Now that you know I want you to vote, let’s talk about how to vote.

How to vote:

First, decide what issues are most important to you and your family. Is it jobs or the economy? How about gay marriage or do you believe marriage should be between one man and one woman? Is women’s health care a primary concern for you? Do you believe all children should have health insurance no matter what the cost? Next, which candidate, if voted into office is most likely to get those issues to pass? Do you want higher taxes for the “rich” or do you believe all should pay a fair share of higher taxes? Will this candidate get both Republicans and Democrats to cooperate and work together? Take the hot button issues and number them in order of importance. Doing this exercise will give you a much clearer picture of which candidate may be the right one for you and your family. Another good exercise is to call your local Democratic and Republican offices. Tell them you are a single parent and ask why you should vote for their candidate. I did – and the results were eye opening!!

In closing, a few things to remember: one issue should not be the THE ISSUE. There are a number of issues that impact the single parent family. Being for or against abortion, for example, should not be the deciding factor in when you cast your vote. Also keep in mind that you don’t have to vote for the party you are registered with. Lastly, vote for the candidate you believe in, not the one your mom, sister or even your pastor believes. Deciding who to vote for is important. But the most important decision you can make this November is the decision to vote! Those defending our freedom, past and present, are counting on you and your vote!

Article Written by Allison Jarman
Although recently married, Mrs. Jarman spent 17 years as single parent. She is the proud mother of two adult daughters. Mrs. Jarman was a classroom teacher in public schools and currently works in accounting and finance. She is a twice published author and weekly contributor for articles pertaining to single parents and families.

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