I remember the first time I received a sample ballot in the mail. Tearing up the envelope, pages and brochures were spilled full of terms, candidates and proposals that I did not know much about. There was no way I could vote confidently without immersing myself in what could be hours of research. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a list of helpful resources to use when preparing your ballot.
Get started with the Voterly Smart Ballot
If you’re voting for the first time or haven’t been able to do the research, ballot fatigue can be a big hit. You lose your patience or begin to feel insecure about your options as you progress through the ballot. Avoid unnecessary stress with Smart Voter Ballot. With this voting tool you can:
- Get a preview of which contests and measures will be on your local ballot
- Research political profiles for candidates running in federal, state, and local elections.
- Compare both sides of the ballot measurements
- Share your ballot with your friends or print a copy to take to the polls.
- Encourage your community to get out there and vote!
Review your state’s official voter guide
Usually a brochure will be sent to you or you can find a digital version on your Secretary of state website. If you want to read more about a proposal, you will find a summary, what your yes / no vote means and the arguments of each side. The state voter guides are nonpartisan, so you may want to check out the endorsements from different parties below.
Check the endorsements of parties and politicians
Regardless of your political affiliation, checking which candidates and proposals your parties support can be a useful starting point in determining how you want to vote. State and local party groups publish their voting guides (also known as “endorsements”) before an election. For example, here are some 2020 voting guides from the Republican, Democrat, Y Green parties.
You can also take advantage of the way the politicians you align with are voting. A personal endorsement from an elected official you trust can go a long way when you’re caught between candidates.
Consult experts about problems
If there are a couple of issues that are particularly important to you, chances are there are national, state, and local organizations on your side. Many of them will post candidate scorecards and endorsements before the election that will help you determine how politicians rank on one or more issues. For example, on the issue of abortion, a pro-life voter might want to consider Susan B. Anthony List National Pro-Life Scorecard while a pro-choice voter would review 2020 Planned Parenthood Dashboard.
Coming soonKeep an eye out for broadcast ratings on Voterly! 👀
Clarify your facts
It is no secret that the political landscape in the United States is highly polarized and rife with misinformation. Now that you have investigated the candidates’ backgrounds and who has endorsed them, the next step would be to confirm whether what say about their positions and background are really true. Some nonpartisan organizations that pride themselves on being fact-based include FactCheck.org Y PolitiFact.