Ballot Ready Elections

Are You Ballot Ready?

There are few things that we all know to be true: death, taxes, winter is coming, and so is Election Day.

I feel like all I can write about lately is politics. I blame it on the anxiety-inducing, constant bombardment of the 24-hour news cycle that has warped my mind. I’d like to apologize up front for participating in this madness by writing something relating to the election again, with the hope that this could actually be something helpful. I come to you with a tool for you all to use in our wacky democracy.

I think most of us could agree that Election Day ballots are flawed. When going into the voting booth, I’ll take a look at my ballot and maybe only know 50% of the names on the ballot and what they stand for. The bigger candidates, like those running for president, Senate or the House, have familiar names and we have a good idea of what they are all about. But then there are the rest: assemblypeople, councilpeople, judicial candidates, sheriffs, dog catchers, etc… about whom we typically know little to nothing about.

These candidates on the bottom of the ballot typically don’t have the deep marketing pockets like those at the top do. Without those dollars we won’t see or hear them on TV, radio or in print. They may not have much of a social media presence either. As a person who wants to make an informed decision about all of these other candidates, I didn’t know where exactly to look.

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So when I came across BallotReady, I was impressed. This nifty website is really beautiful and quite simple to use. It is a non-partisan site which aggregates information from candidates’ websites, news outlets, social media, board of elections, press and other sources. You can browse through each candidate’s background and stances with just a few clicks. You simply enter your address and all of the local and national candidates pop up for your specific location. Every candidate running in this election cycle—from president to your local reps—are right there. After reviewing the candidates you can add them to your personal ballot and either print or email the list to yourself so that you know who to vote for when you head to the booth. You can even use it to find your local polling station. Give it a whirl before you head into the voting booth next week. Democracy is cool. Way better than when we had kings and stuff.

Also, remember Election Day is Tues., Nov. 8, no matter what anyone tells you.

Happy Voting!