Need more info?
Yes you do! Now that you are registered to vote and can find out who will be on your ballot, it is time to start getting familiar with who the candidates are, and what the initiatives really mean. Time to become an informed voter! There are many resources available to you, and the sooner you get involved the better. There will be any number of forums where you can meet candidates, there will be candidate interviews and debates that you can attend or view online. If your candidate is currently in office, you can get voting record info and even attend or view some of them in action. There will be endorsements in local papers and other sources. If you are a member of one of the parties, they may have information available via their websites and facebook pages.
We ask that you think about the source when you soak in any information, and be an informed voter. It can be challenging to become informed about some of the lower and more obscure offices, but as we in Clark County see over and over, it is important to vote ALL THE WAY DOWN THE BALLOT. The margins by which people have won office have been very slim recently, and much less than the ‘undervote’. Undervote is a term for the difference between votes cast for a particular office or measure, and the total number of ballots cast.
Continue on for a list of resources to help you research your ballot and do your part to vet candidates and issues based on your values, what you want for our community, and what you think is important!
Clark County LOCAL Voter Info Collection
Voters need to consider the source for any candidate information. Understand the positions of these groups, and how they may align with your values. Do not throw out those that differ, just be aware and keep your mind open. For endorsements and recommendations, understand the group’s endorsement process.
League of Women Voters of Clark County. Has links to other information, including the LWV of Washington. The League sponsors Candidate forums that are worth attending if you can, and are recorded by CVTV if you can't. This year the recordings will be close captioned (2 day delay).
Other great resources from the League of Women Voters include:
How to pick a candidate guide:
Candidate questionaire and responses
CVTV – OUR local TV channel! See interviews with the candidates, LWV forums, etc. Just go and look under elections. Also, you can see some public meetings online for City of Vancouver and the County. Seeing these people in action can be very telling.
VoteSmart includes Voting Records, which can be really useful in evaluating incumbants and provides a view to where they really stand. VoteSmart also provides info on positions, funding, etc.
What does Labor think? Find out here:
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle – H-ROC
Pac- supports and mentors women elected officials for non-partisan races.
National Woman’s Political Caucus.
Right to be Heard – Right2Bheard.org
Site has links to all candidate pages, making research a snap!
Candidate forums, Q&A, Political calendar - government meetings and candidate forums.
Their calendar includes forums and events as well as the many public meetings you can attend to see your elected in action.
Clark County Citizens for Good Governance (C3G2) has a facebook page that is very active and attempts to facilitate respectful conversations about government goings on in Clark County. I say ‘attempts’ because people often get excited about some topics so it can get rowdy on occasion but the admins do their best to keep it on topic and not personal . https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClarkCountyCitizensforGoodGovernance/
Reading the local paper is a great way to stay informed. There is often even more online. For example the Columbian has links to their interviews with candidates. So you do not need to accept their views you can watch the interviews! The Columbian seems to anger both liberals and conservatives. The Reflector tends to reflect the more conservative views of its north county readership.
http://www.cityofvancouver.us/messenger For Boomers +
http://www.vbjusa.com/ Vancouver Business Journal
The Columbian will post interviews with candidates as they occur.
PDC – Public Disclosure Commission - for the serious researcher. You can find out who is giving or taking money to/from whom, as well as complaints for election irregularities. Follow the money is always good advice!
Candidate sites: Every candidate and initiative has websites and facebook pages to go look at. Just remember that this is what they want you to see. There is NO requirement that they be completely honest. Easiest way to find them is to google, or do a facebook search. Use caution, not all candidates are smart enough to get site names early, so there may be anti-candidate or spoof sites returned in the search.
Party Lines: the Parties all have their websites and facebook pages as well. I’ll let you google them.
Farther Afield: Information on state & national elections, candidates, etc.
Washington Conservation voters:
Fuse Washington – WA state progressive organization
Sierra Club, Clark Co.
Vote Smart – This is a non-partisan organization that does research and provides non-biased information at the state and federal levels on candidates and ballot measures.
Political Fact checking:
Political Organizational or Operational Tracking
Truth, Rumor, Legend, Lie -- Categorization
· D.C. National Political News