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With the Nov. 6th, 2012 general election quickly approaching, deciding who to vote for can be a difficult task, and is likely the reason why so many voters chose to do a straight party ticket; however, with very low congressional approval ratings, and more voters wanting to make informed decisions, it’s important that voters have reliable resources from which to learn about the many different candidates.
Here’s a list of some of the sources of information that northern Texans will find useful in researching the candidates.
To start with, if you need a general idea whose philosophizes are most in-line with, try these quizzes:
Ballotpedia, utilizing the same technology used for Wikipedia, this site provides complete information about all the candidates running for office, along with primary election results.
The Texas Tribune provides a nice graph for watching the various contests. It also provides some basic candidates profiles.
For a more localized Collin County source check out the Allen Area Patriots. Once the candidate profiles are published it is expected that they will also include reviews with recommendations and optionally the candidate can provide a rebuttal to their recommendations and analysis.
Texas NORML released a candidate survey that received the most responses from Libertarian Candidates, likely because other candidates know they would not be looked at favorably by that organization; or the 56% of US citizens that now agree with them.
The Vote Texas site is also a great resource for all Texas state wide candidates, and can even provide you information on which candidates will specifically be on your personal ballot. Candidates were also given the ability to directly input and edit content on the web-site to give voters more information on their positions.
The local League of Women Voters has their Smart Voter on-line tool, or the national organization provides the Vote411 web-site that looks very similar the one provided by the Dallas Morning News.
Candidate questionnaires for the Dallas Morning News can also be compared. This site even has a great social media sharing tool integrated with Facebook. Once you complete their mock ballot, you can e-mail it or print it so that you have a copy to take with you to the polls.
There’s also an organization called Project Vote Smart, which includes voting records for incumbents and some financial information.
If want to “follow the money” of the congressional candidates contributors check out OpenCongress. They provideinformation reported to the FEC, as well as analysis of who money is attempting to influence the elections, and the nation’s policies.
The best recommendation I can give is don’t vote straight party ticket. Giving your loyalties to one party or another in this manner only re-enforces the duopoly party system that prevents many issues and viewpoints from getting the attention they deserve. It promotes ideas of “voting for the lesser of two evils”, and has led to the social divisions and political conundrum we currently have today.
Be sure to also check out the below links to my other articles for some more specific candidate analysis.