An informed electorate is the best electorate. As I said earlier, I take voting seriously, and I think anyone who engages in the activity should as well. With the ubiquity of the internet and smartphones, there is no reason for anyone who considers or plans on voting to be uninformed about the issues and candidates they will be confronted with.
So, as a public service, below are some on-line resources that provide information relevant to voters. Living in Michigan, I am positing some sites that are particularly helpful to the people in my state, but I am sure if you are reading from another state, you can find similar resources available to you there.
Note: I’m not saying these sites are better than others that may be out there, they are just ones that I have come across during this election cycle. While I did try to find ones that were fairly neutral, I’m not promising they are. But that’s part of being a thinking member of our society. Read information, consider the source, and determine how much weight to give it in your decision making process.
iSideWith has you fill out a questionnaire on your views on various different issues, allows you to indicate how strongly you feel about them, and answer more detailed questions if you like. It then pairs you with the candidate you most closely line up with ideologically. You may be surprised by the answer, given third party candidates are included.
Know My Candidate allows you to do a side-by-side comparison of each candidate and their stance on various issues.
Michigan Ballot Proposals
Michigan Radio has compiled its reports on the various ballot proposals for listeners to be informed of where the ballot issue comes from and what it would mean if it passed.
Michigan Sample Ballots
Practice tests are the best way to prepare for the real test. Sample ballots let you do the same.
The MLive voter guide allows you to build a sample ballot based on where you live and access relevant information. It also give information on each candidate.
Michigan Votes lets you know if you are registered to vote and shows the sample ballot for your precinct. It also includes links to candidates’ websites if they are available.
Michigan Voter Guide
MLive’s comprehensive voter guide to all things Michigan.
Perhaps you have been doing your own research throughout the election season and you have some facts that seem iffy from the candidates you have been listening to. FactCheck is nonpartisan and does a good job calling out everyone for their improvisations on the truth.
If you’re not informed, please don’t
I am glad that all American citizens now have the right to vote, I hope that never changes. And while I hope each person would take the time to educate themselves to be informed, I think voting is too important for someone to cast an uninformed vote. So if you’re not going to take the time, please, don’t vote. This guy agrees.
Are there other online resources you use to help you make your voting decisions? Leave them in the comment section for all of us to benefit from.