How to Vote!
How to Vote!
I would like to encourage every citizen to vote. It is our civic duty to participate in every election. It is the cornerstone of our democracy. I also would like to use this lens to inform people on the correct way to vote. We need to study the issues and examine each candidate and make an informed choice. Voting is the ultimate poll and the only poll that matters. If people chooses not to vote, then they have no right to complaint afterwards. Please vote!
How to Vote...
Here are the steps to follow before voting. You need to spend some time in order to make up your mind. It may seem obvious to some people but you'll be surprised how many people don't follow these common sense methods.
- Enumerate 5 or 10 top issues that you care about.
- For each issue, determine the various sides that exist and pick the best that fits your ideal solution.
- For each candidate on your ballot, find out what their position is for each of the issues. There are several ways you can go about this. You can listen to their speeches, you can watch the debates, you can read what they've written and what legislation they proposed and their actual voting records. You can also find out who contributes to their campaign and which groups have given support behind the candidate.
- You need to make an assessment on how trustworthy is each candidate. You can usually do this by reconciling what each candidate say or promise and then look for what they actually do once in office.
- Examine the past record of each candidate and access how effective they have been at their job. Look for results and not only good intentions.
- For each issue, compare how the candidates match up with your ideal. The candidate that has the highest per cent of agreement with your ideals and the one most trustworthy is usually the right one to vote for.
Some advice on what not to do...
Here are some advice on what not to do.
- Don't vote just by party line. In fact, it is helpful not to know the party affiliation of the candidate in the beginning. This way you won't be biased in your opinion from the outset.
- Don't vote because someone else tells you who to vote for. Decide for yourself.
- Don't be influenced by attack ads or sound bites or rumors and innuendos.
- Don't be influenced by polls. Many are wrong and some are deceptive.
- DON'T VOTE if you don't understand the positions . You are not doing your part if you don't spend some time analysing the issues. Your vote might cancel out someone elses.
- Don't vote for someone just because they are famous or have a well known name. This is not a popularity contest.
- Finally, you will never get 100% agreement between a candidate and your own views. It is better to vote for a candidate that agrees with you even 50% than to not vote and let the other candidate win who may be less agreeable.
My wish list...
Somethings I wish for...Wouldn't it be nice to have...
- The web is a great resource. In fact, it has too much information both good and bad. Weeding through all this stuff is hard. It sure would be nice if someone (Google or others) can come up with a simple search tool that will provide valid information concerning any candidate for office. Here is how I envison this might work:
Enter the NAME and an ISSUE into a search field. It will return the following information.
1. full name and current office (if any)
2. short biography including past office.
3. link to speeches or quotes on the issue at hand.
4. voting record on this issue (if in office)
5. attendance record
6. legislation proposed by candidate relating to this issue if any.
7. which group or PAC contribute to this candidate.
8. which groups or unions have officially supported this candidate.
9. Finally an assessment on what percent "truth" is this candidate based on item 3 and 4 above.
Some additional info
Some miscellaneous links...
- Voting statistics
Here is a breakdown of past voting statistics by age groups and ethnicity.
- Google politics
News item on the future of politics and the web.
- Info from dontvote.com
Dontvote.com provides information on issues-from the AARP.
- Family Security Matters
This site lists how each legislator voted on security issues.
An interactive site to voice your opinions.
- A quiz to match your candidates
VoteMatch allows you to match your opinions to candidates. You will get a percent result after answering some questions...