It pays for voters to be knowledgeable. Yet, we have all stood in the voting booth and wished we knew how to make better choices. Now, no matter where you live, you can access enough information online to help you decide which candidate will make the best official.
I will never vote in a booth again. For the first time, I voted by mail. After mailing my ballot this afternoon, I just had to share what I learned.
From the comfort of my favorite recliner, I chose the governor quite easily. I even knew who I wanted for senate and house. Then, things got a little more foggy--ok, very foggy. My ballot had a long list of judges, a school board member, a local municipal commissioner and more. I am sure I looked like a deer in the headlights as I gazed at all these unfamiliar names. But, because I wasn't standing in a booth, I pulled out my cell phone and started looking up the candidates.
First of all, there is always google.com. From there, I found a couple of very helpful sites that clarified every other choice I faced. But, I don't recommend the candidates' re-election sites. Read facts--not marketing hype to make your decision.
I went to judgepedia.org and was able to compare all judge choices. As long as you note whether its federal or state court and which type of court before searching the judge's name in the search box in the upper right-hand corner, you will sail through this. All the information you need is right there on your ballot. In most cases I could see the candidates education, experience and usually some special causes they support. If religious persuasion matters to you, you can find indicators by noting their college or what causes they care about.
For other open positions, I went to ballotpedia.com. It works just like the above site but covers positions other than judges. Just get into the proper section: federal, state or local. Then find the various positions on your ballot. Typically they had the ballot items listed with a link to both candidates you are choosing between. They had all but one of the commissioners running for election in my small town. I thought that was really good because they cover elections for the entire USA.
Return to google if you hit any dead ends. There are other sites you can explore if needed. But, these two are particularly easy to navigate and were almost completely comprehensive in my case.
With a cell phone, you can do this standing in the booth. If you take the time, you can vote with confidence while choosing the candidates who support the values closest to your heart.
Happy voting, America! May the best candidates win.
If you have other favorite sites, feel free to post them in the comments.