Voting: It's Just that Simple!
Don’t be ignorant, be intelligent.
We know that every workplace has politics. With November 2nd getting so close, the politics are probably starting to show in conversations, and water cooler talks. Regardless of peoples personal politics, I think their is a fine line between opinion and fact. If there is one thing that is worse then someone who does not vote, it is someone who votes with no knowledge of the legislation, politics or where a politician stands.
If you want government and business to be better, then you need to be better informed around the politics that affect legislation and, ultimnately, how those decisions ultimatelty affect your work!Here are some resources/gold to help you decide and maybe become better informed about this Tuesday.
November 2nd: Election Day Resources
Who Should I Vote For?
There is a great resource that I came across called Vote Easy. Run by VoteSmart.org, it is an easy web-based application that you can use to find out more about the people within your district running for office. Simply key in your zip code and it will show politicians within your area. You can also look by state. Once you see them it will send walk you through some questions around key beliefs and issues to show the politicians most closely fit your views around the answers to those questions.
Who is running?
You can also use a site called OpenCongress.org/ to find who your current senators and representatives through the use of their zipcode look-up tool. It will walk show their voting record, etc.
- RaceTracker – See who the candidates are, learn about their positions, and get a snapshot of the fundraising race. This is a collaborative wiki project, so if you have information about a particular candidate, this is a great place to add your knowledge and share it on a fully-referenced, free and open-source platform.
Show me the money
- AdTracker – In the wake of the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision allowing outside groups to spend unlimited money on campaign ads, it’s more important than ever that we have transparency in how these ads are affecting the election and exactly how they’re funded. AdTracker is a wiki project for tracking and watching all the ads in congressional races across the country and providing background info who’s sponsoring them. It provides a unique view into the advocacy work of low-profile independent political groups.
- Money – Last but not least, take a second to look at your candidates’ campaign funding sources. Time and again it’s been show that campaign finances are directly related to how members of Congress vote. Click the “Money Trail” tab on your senators’ and representative’s profile pages to see which industries and special-interest groups have donated to them. This is who they’ll likely owe favors to if elected to Congress in the next session.
I want to see your checkered past!
- Voting Records – We typically find out about candidates’ voting records when they are being spun by their competitors, but on OpenCongress it is possible (and easy) to look at the actual vote data yourself. From your senators’ and representative’s profile pages, click the “Votes” tab and search for any topics you’re interested in. Looking at the actual data gives you a more accurate picture of how your lawmakers really voted on the issues that matter to you. To find more votes, check out our one-of-a-kind listing of Hot Bills by Issue Area.
- Compare Votes – In this election more than in most, independence from party leadership is considered an especially important trait. Our head-to-head vote comparison tool gives you a view of party loyalty that you can’t get elsewhere. Compare the voting records of any two senators or representatives to see how often they vote with their colleagues and on what votes in particular they agree or disagree.
- Bill sponsorship – In addition to vote records, it’s important to look at the bills your incumbent candidate has proposed. From senator and representative profile pages, click the “bills” tab to browse or search all sponsored and co-sponsored bills. Even more than votes, the bills lawmakers support are indicative of their overall vision and ideology.
Real Time Results
- Google Politic Ratings: How will the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans shake out after the elections on November 2? Many political experts and news sources track and revise predictions, but until now it’s been hard to compare perspectives. We’ve worked with some of the top names in politics — Sabato, Cook, Rothenberg, CQ-Roll Call, and RealClearPolitics — to make it easier to track the daily changes in the political landscape.
- Google Election Center: Find out where to vote in your district and other voting information!
Do you know of any other tools or information that will make it easier for people to vote? Note: People think that these elections have a lot of negativity in them… try the 18oo’s! Be “prepared to see your dwellings in flames” – Now that was cruel!