So, you’re ready, you’re fired up, you’re going to cast your vote for the candidates who will bring your values to the halls of government!
But first you have to learn enough about the candidates to know which ones you want to vote for.
Maine’s newspaper web sites are a great place to start. They all have comprehensive on-line voter guides, with information about all of the races and ballot measures. Enter your address and see all of the candidates and questions that will appear on your ballot. Click on a candidate’s name and the candidate’s answers to the paper’s candidate survey. There’s a lot of information out there, so much it can be overwhelming. You’ve probably OD’d on campaign commercials and social media messages about the races for Governor, U.S. Senate and Congress. But do you really know where the candidates stand on issues that are important to you? How do you find out about the important legislative candidates who will appear on your ballot? It’s time for a little research.
Need more information? Are there questions the papers didn’t ask (like maybe where the candidate stands on issues like reproductive rights and reproductive justice)? You can dig a little deeper and check out advocacy groups. Groups involved in a variety of issues conduct candidate surveys, and some make endorsements. Although Maine Family Planning doesn’t get involved in campaign-related work, there are a lot of organizations out there that can give you information about the issues that are important to you. And don’t look only at organizations you agree with – you can learn a lot about a candidate by seeing whether they’re endorsed by an organization you disagree with, too. Here are some examples:
- Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
- Maine Right to Life Committee Pro-Life Voter Guide
- Equality Maine
- Maine League of Conservation Voters
- Maine Christian Civic League voter guide
What other issues are important to you? Are there organizations that work on those issues in Maine and provide voter information? Google away…
OK, now that you know who you want to vote for, you need to get registered and get to the polls! Until then, stay tuned to Maine Family Planning for more information every day until election day.