How do I find information about local candidates and issues?
October 20, 2004 1:58 AM   Subscribe

Last week I received my absentee ballot for Central Massachusetts. I haven't been there in a few years, so I don't recognize some of the candidates running for the more obscure offices. When Google fails, and the local newspaper coverage is sketchy, how do you go about finding out more information about these candidates?

And by "local newspaper coverage", I mean coverage by local newspapers that have an online presence. On a side note: this will be my first election, huzzah!
posted by ar0n to Law & Government (6 answers total)
I would call the Town Clerk's office [(508)366-3020] and ask for the phone numbers of the Democratic Town Committee and Republican Town Committee chairpersons. Then I would call each of them and ask them for their opinions and any other information that might be helpful.

Did you not find the Westborough News useful? I know that the MetroWestDailyNonsense, formerly the Middlesex News, is hopeless, but I think the local-local papers can be more helpful in these matters.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:31 AM on October 20, 2004

Project Vote Smart has some info on the Current Candidates for Massachusetts.

Politics1 has a list of news sources for MA at the bottom of this page.

Political State Report has a MA section that has quite a few blogged articles about MA politics.
posted by Sirius at 9:46 AM on October 20, 2004

Voting responsibly in "obscure" races is challenge. I generally rely on endorsements given by groups that actually have to deal with the obscure elected officials. On school board-type races, I like to call the local teachers' union and ask who they are endorsing. Same thing applies for other offices: for the county clerk, ask realtors/lawyers whether the incumbent is doing a good job. Though I still don't know who to talk to for advice on whom to elect as county coroner.

Also, you can always call up the candidate and talk to him/her yourself.
posted by profwhat at 10:24 AM on October 20, 2004

Presumably if you're voting absentee with a permanent address in that are, you have some ties there with family or someone... talk to the people who are there who you trust.
posted by Dreama at 2:41 PM on October 20, 2004

um, I should probably MYOB, but why are you voting in district that you have been absent from in years. Shouldn't you vote where you live? Or, is this the case, when someone is abroad? Voting in the district you last lived?
posted by Duck_Lips at 7:26 PM on October 23, 2004

Duck_Lips: I'm abroad and that was my last residence in the US. That's how it's done.
posted by ar0n at 11:12 PM on October 25, 2004

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