By James Baxter, NMA President
Between local, state, and U.S. elections this fall most of us will be confronted with making a dozen or more choices from two or three times that many candidates. Some vote for a straight party ticket and let it go at that. But most of us like to pick and choose a little more than that.
The biggest problem is figuring out or knowing a candidate’s position on issues that are important to us.
Sometimes we know their positions because of their public pronouncements and campaign promises. However, those mediums only tell us what the candidates want us to know.
What about there positions on issues that are more controversial, or more specific to our concerns? One way is to write them a letter or e-mail and ask them, but they may not respond or only provide a vague answer. Also, you can always put a lot more stock in what someone does, or has done, than what they say they are going to do.
There is a solution to this quandary; Project Vote Smart. Project Vote Smart is a non-partisan campaign designed to give citizens honest, unvarnished information about the positions and records of candidates for public office.
Many, in fact most office holders refuse to willingly respond to Project Vote Smart surveys and requests for position statements. They figure an ignorant public is a more easily deceived public, and they are right. But the staff and volunteers at Project Vote Smart have spent many years refining a system to get the information voters need to make informed decisions, even if the candidates don’t want you to have that information.
Here’s what you need to do: Go to www.votesmart.org/voteeasy and then type in your zip code—and let the “real story” roll out.