2016 General Election (no Presidential Talk)

I am not going to be in my district or even in NY on election day so I received an absentee ballot.  Obviously most of the coverage of November's election is in the presidential election so information gathering for those candidates is relatively easy.  But other seats in your particular state, county, &/or district may not be too formal to you.  And considering the proximity of local government to the federal government, it is more crucial to be informed about these candidates.  Are you so involved in your county that you know what the candidates are about?  Are there local debates in your local?  Is there enough literature when you google names you feel informed about each candidate?  Do you just stay in party lines? I guess my question is, how do you guys handle voting not dealing with the president, senate or house? 


  • edited October 2016
    There are lots of resources that I look at.

    1. The local weekly/alternative paper(s) will most likely have a "voting guide" that tells you about the candidates for every local race. Even if they only give details on the candidates they endorse, these are usually really helpful in learning more about the people on the ballot because they also give good details on why they're not endorsing the other person.

    2. Websites like Progressive Voters Guide, On the Issues or Project Vote Smart can give you details on the voting records of local candidates, their stances on issues, and their endorsements.

    3. If there are particular issues I support, I look for a major organization that deals with that issue and also endorses candidates. A national org will have info on candidates in all the states. There are nonprofits like League of Women Voters and League of Conservation Voters that aggregate information on where local candidates stand on important issues.

    Usually you don't have to do all three unless there's a particular choice you're stuck on.

  • edited October 2016
    Double post.

  • edited October 2016
    There are a couple websites that will keep people informed of who/what is on the local ballots the below is one

    I have said a few times on my FB feed that folks need to pay attention to the 469 seats that are up for grabs as those can wield as much if not more power than the presidency.

    Personally I am an independent and vote what' I feel is best for my area (regardless of their affiliation). While I tend to skew "blue" I have voted for "red" in the past because I felt they were a better choice. As far as local elections it can be difficult depending on your area, especially if information isn't readily available online. What I try to do is look up who's running and see if I can find them online. If not and I feel motivated I'd go to local offices to see if I can get more information. As far as I know our local debates are usually only for for the "big" offices. Many run unopposed which kind of makes things "easy".
  • Thanks for the information.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I was going to recommend the league of women voters. No editorializing, they just ask questions about issues and record what each state and local candidate says about them. Then you can generate a printout that has your choices that makes filling out your ballot really easy. Local politics are arguably more important than national, so it's extremely valuable info to have!
  • The sources mentioned are all ones I rely on, especially local papers and the "alternative weekly" paper (those typically skew liberal, but still do a good job of explaining the candidates/issues).

    One more good resource is probably your local NPR station's website; my local station has a pretty good election guide on its site.

    Luckily here in CO we have all mail-in ballot elections, so plenty of time to sit down with the ballot in front of the computer and figure out what all these damn propositions and amendments are all about.
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  • I usually try to sell my vote to the highest bidder. If no takers, I let my wife vote for me.
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