How Do You Compare Candidates When Preparing to Vote in an Election?


Quick Answer

Websites such as Vote411.org and Votesmart.org compile information about political candidates that allows voters to make comparisons among the candidates. Both websites include data for candidates running for national, state or local office.

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Full Answer

On Vote411.org, the voter enters his residence to find the date of the next election and all of the candidates running for office, whether for alderman, local school board or state representative. Launched by the League of Women Voters, Vote411.org presents background information such as education and political experience for each candidate. In addition, the site sends a survey to the candidates, requesting details concerning their priorities and qualifications; the survey answers become part of the candidate's profile on the website so that the voter can compare answers for candidates running for the same office. The website user can print a candidate's profile for future reference and create a sample ballot to bring on election day.

Vote Smart is an organization whose volunteers research the biographical data, voting records and public statements of political candidates. The group's website contains a database of the voting records of all state and national political officials by issue. A voter can utilize that database to research a specific politician's votes on a wide variety of issues, including abortion, the environment and affirmative action. Vote Smart's website also compiles the positions for national candidates, such as U.S. senators and representatives, on issues of national importance.

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