Me vote pretty some day.
October 30, 2008 2:30 PM   Subscribe

How do I (quickly) educate myself on the props and candidate choices I will be faced with on my ballot next week?

I'll admit it, I've been a bad citizen - I've been way to busy to do enough reading or watch enough news to really get to know what my options are going to be before I walk into the booth.

I'd like a website (ideally, something online, because I travel constantly) that I can use to find out more information about the candidates and propositions I will be voting on. I'd like to be prepared to walk in and confidently know who's getting my vote and why.

Please talk to me like a new voter - I essentially am, although I shouldn't be. I was scarred at a young age on the political system as a whole, but America seems to be getting screwed up enough now that I think every last vote is important.

I'm voting in NYC if that helps (and yes, I've been to the nightmare that is the Board of Elections website, and no, I found nothing remotely helpful).
posted by allkindsoftime to Law & Government (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (Bonus points for independent resources. I'd like to avoid learning about candidates from their own propaganda.)
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:34 PM on October 30, 2008

The League of Women Voters is probably the best place to start. They're nonpartisan and they've got info on candidates as well as ballot proposals (pdf).
posted by stefanie at 2:40 PM on October 30, 2008

At least in NY, VoteSmart covers races down to the State Senate and Assembly level. And also taught me that Ralph Nader is the Alaska Indepedence Party candidate. Who knew?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 2:43 PM on October 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

I used Ballotpedia to make sense of some of the initiatives on the Colorado ballot this year (there are a lot). It includes information on supporters, opponents, arguments for/against, and history (example here.) There was at least one measure here in Colorado that, when I first read the text, my inclination was to vote "YES", but upon doing some research and learning who was behind it, I decided to vote "NO".
posted by jal0021 at 3:52 PM on October 30, 2008

Read your local mainstream and alternative media's endorsements of the candidates and issues on their sites. They give their reasons for/against and generally have more specific information than more general websites, I think.
posted by girlmightlive at 5:36 AM on October 31, 2008

There is one state ballot question up for this year. It's a very minor change to the state constitution, which removes the requirement for disabled veterans to be receiving disability payments in order to get a bonus on civil service tests.

I'll bet that you didn't even know that disabled veterans got a bonus on civil service tests, did you? :)

My opinion is that it's OK to say yes to this. But, feel fee to read it for yourself and be your own judge.

As for people to vote for, there's plenty of stuff on the net for the presidential candidates. But, there's always a paucity of knowlegde about more local candidates. Especially judges - they have a vested interest in not having anything besides their names included in their campaigns. (Personally, I feel that our judges should be appointed, and not elected.) The best thing that you can do is take a run at the New York Times and Daily News archives, and see if you can find clips of things that these people have actually said and done. At least you can narrow down the names by using the BOE website to find who applies to you to begin with.

Good luck finding stuff.
posted by Citrus at 10:29 AM on October 31, 2008

« Older Cheap dragon smoke wanted   |   License to thrill? Personalized plates ideas... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.