Tips for Focusing on the Election
By now we have all been inundated with many levels of information on local, state and national candidates for elected office. However, now it is time for us to focus on the issues, decide which candidates have earned our individual support and then VOTE!
Here are some ways you might gather information to make an informed decision on November 4th.
Attend or listen to debates
The League of Women Voters, a non partisan political group of men and women, had (up until 1988) conducted the majority of the televised presidential debates. During these debates, the major issues were discussed by the candidates in a format which encouraged discussion, not one line slogans or unfounded accusations. Although televised presidential debates are no longer as helpful, you will still get important information about the candidates from them.
In many locales, community groups including the League, will sponsor debates but how do you gather this information? Below is the League's Tips for Debate Watchers.
Think Ahead. Before the debate, ask yourself which issues are most important to you, and jot down what you'd like to learn from each of the candidates.
Are They Answering the Question? Pay attention to how the candidates answer the questions. Are they specific? Sincere? Knowledgeable?
Keep Track of Topics. Are the candidates being asked about your priority issues? Are the questions fair and pertinent?
Talk it out! Afterwards, talk about the debate with your friends & family. Did the debate influence your decision? Did you learn something new about the candidates' positions? (How about a debate watching party with friends?)
Gather information on the candidates
First, read information in your local newspapers, publications, candidates literature.
You might also, research the party and candidate websites to learn their declared positions on the issues and get background information. As well, you must decide if the candidate has the expertise in that particular area. In other words, don't elect a state treasurer who has declared bankruptcy in his business.
On the internet, a great source for nonbiased, non-partisan local, state and national information on candidates is www.VOTE411.org. At this website, you can also view your local ballot, any local or state rules governing voting and even find out if you are registered to vote and the location of your local voting place.
Decide on the candidates who will get your vote and then VOTE!