Once you register to vote and you can cast your ballot in local and national elections, the big question arises: Who’s got your vote?
Choosing your top candidates and your stance on election issues takes time. Follow this simple guide to help you research the best choices for you.
Meet the Candidates
Before you can cast your vote with confidence, you’ll want to learn who the candidates are and what positions they seek to fill.
In a local election, candidates vie for positions of governance within your voting district, your county, your city, or your state. You might be voting for your next mayor, city councilman, state senate representative, or county treasurer, for example.
In a national election, candidates vie for positions of governance within the United States at large. National elections include voting for the next president, your state governor, senator and representatives of congress.
Once you know who is on the ballot, dig a little deeper to find out more about the candidates. During an election period, you can learn more about candidates through many resources, including:
- Newspaper and magazine articles.
- Interviews with the press.
- Local appearances by the candidate.
- Candidate’s website and communications at large.
- Local or national debates between candidates.
Through these resources and more, you’ll get a feel for what issues matter most to the candidates and what they plan to do if elected.
Admit It: You’ve Got Voting Issues
We all have issues that matter to us! Whether you’re concerned about the environment, or focused on how to successfully run a small business, chances are you have some concerns that are near and dear to your heart.
Determine what national and local issues matter most to you. Then, look at how your beliefs match up with the candidates. Most likely, you’ll discover some candidates who share your concerns.
Party Time: Which Political Party Will You Back?
A candidate’s party affiliation might impact your voting decision, too. For example, voters with strong Republican or Democratic views might tend to vote for candidates that share their party affiliations.
Once you’ve learned more about the issues, consider where your political leanings lie and how they might impact your choice of candidate.
Talk about the Candidates
Talk to your friends and family about the issues and candidates they support and why.
But, watch out! Politics tends to be a touchy subject, so tread lightly. Keep the conversation civil and keep an open mind. You might learn something new, or even change your perspective.
Once you’ve done your research on the issues and the candidates, you’ll be well prepared to vote in your next local or national election. Ensure that your voter registration is up-to-date well before election day. Then, cast your ballot and make your voice heard!
How do you research who to vote for in your local and national elections? Let us know in the comments section below.