Too often, Clayton residents find themselves electing candidates routinely described as the “best of the worst” out of the choices provided. Recently, a blogger asked how to determine who the “wrong” candidates are. So, I’m asking folks to share how you choose candidate(s), and where you get information on them.
One resource is Project Vote Smart, which is a wealth of information providing, among many other things, contact information, candidate biographies and voting records. For non-voting positions, consider what that person has/hasn’t done for constitutents and the community. I also speak with other residents for perspectives I may not have considered or known about.
This is harder to do when unknown candidates run. In this case, I’ll research their history as much as possible, particularly what they have done in the community lately. Whether new to politics or an incumbent, I’ll also attempt to speak directly with a candidate(s) – particularly serial candidates who constantly run for office but never seem to get elected - to gauge their position on issues.
While I’m sure there is some study out there that predicts otherwise, signage and holiday telephone messages do nothing to appease this voter. I’m also leery of candidates who make it difficult for constituents to obtain information about them except solely via outlets they handpick.
I also attend as many forums as possible where constituents have a chance to meet candidates and find out where they stand on issues.
What resources do you use to research candidates? Does signage (billboards, roadside signs, etc.), websites, television and/or radio commercials provide you with enough information to base a vote on? Do you check to see who is funding candidate(s) and/or how they are connected to each other? Do you pay attention to elections going on countywide, even if you can’t vote in that race(s)?
Upcoming political forums include:
June 1 @ 7 PM: NAACP Political Forum for School Board Candidates at Lakewin Christian Center (6449 Church Street, Riverdale).
June 15 @ 6 PM: NAACP Political Forum for State Senate/House of Representative Candidates at Travelers Rest Missionary Baptist Church (2112 Rex Road, Rex)
Please feel free to post anytime if you know of anywhere residents can engage candidates so that we all have an opportunity to get informed, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with info. Thanks!