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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

How to Be an Informed Cleveland Voter Before the November Elections

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2018 at 2:06 PM

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We've been covering news related to the upcoming election for months here at Scene, (along with encouraging everyone to get registered and remember to vote almost daily). However, an estimated 80 million people, according to Vox, won't vote in the November election nationwide, despite being eligible to do so.

Studies show that people don't feel like their vote matters, which has led to an increased lack of education about the ballot.

The Board of Elections does offer a preview of the ballot for those wanting to see exactly what they're voting for this November, but things like party alignment for judges or information on where candidates stand on the issues is not directly available.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources that do exist to help make you a more informed voter, like the brand new, non-partisan site, Ballot Ready.

It's super simple, you just plug in your address on Ballot Ready and can then see each candidate for both local and statewide elections, and are given a profile of party alignment, stances on issues and public service history.

Additionally, the super user-friendly site offers insight into the issues on the ballot, like the highly controversial Issue 1, and is also available with a step-by-step break down to make the information easier to digest. Ballot Ready explains what a "yes vote" means and what a "no vote" means on the issues, because often times voters say they find it difficult to understand just from reading the text.

Ballot Ready also shows memberships and endorsements from groups like Planned Parenthood or the NRA. This way, it makes it easier for voters to find the candidates that most align with their views. They also identify whether or not a candidate is a member of a hate group as defined by the Anti-Defamation League. Want to know if a candidate is a literal Nazi? Ballot Ready will tell you.

Ballot Ready doesn't sell or give away data, nor do users have to enter an email or name to save candidates. You won't wind up on some contact list or bombarded with political ads in your mailbox, they just want to make you as informed of a voter as possible.

If you're unsure of where you fall on party lines, IStandWith is an excellent resource for voters to answer questions about their personal views and how important they believe those views to be to help find the political party most aligned with the voter's interests.

Obviously, voting is an extremely important right for Americans and should absolutely be exercised, but understanding what you're voting for is just as important. Aimlessly checking boxes just to earn an "I Ohio Voting" sticker or writing in nonsense can be detrimental to the outcome of an election. We need to get people to the polls in order to truly have a fair and just expression of the democratic process, but we can't do that if we're just randomly choosing names.

Remember: Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

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