In a presidential election year, the voter turnout is higher. Many more individuals are eager to vote for the highest office in our country. Many also feel confident in voting for their congressional representatives. But as voters make their way down the ballot, it can become slightly more daunting to make educated selections. These races inevitably get less media coverage than the presidential race, ballot propositions can include complicated policy and budgetary changes, and the language can be difficult to interpret or misleading. With a justice-minded perspective, the following are some tips on how to learn more about your ballot.
Many nonprofits, PAC’s, and other organizations compile voter guides. These offer voting selections based on a set of shared values. They also often highlight key issues or hidden consequences hidden in races. For the upcoming November 3, 2020 election, these are some ballot guides that feature values that we support including social and economic justice, advancing equity, criminal justice reform, and supporting women.
- Liberty Hill’s 2020 Voter Guide
- Cal Matters Election Guide
- Initiate Justice’s 2020 Voter Guide
- LA Forward’s Progressive Voter Guide for Los Angeles & California
- ACCE Action’s 2020 Racial and Economic Justice Voter Guide
- League of Women Voters of California’s Ballot Recommendations
- Women’s Foundation of California’s Feminist Guide to CA Propositions 2020
Sponsors, Endorsers, and Opposition
Another helpful tip is to consider who is primarily sponsoring the legislation and what they may have to gain. Similarly, the list of who is endorsing the ballot or candidate can also be useful to look at. Often times, finding an organization that you trust can help you better interpret a measure’s implications.
- Generally, we are suspicious of supporting measures where a corporation is actively lobbying against additional regulation on their industry
- Conversely, we are more open minded to propositions that are supported by nonprofit or social service agencies that we think highly of.
Lastly, before typing anything into your internet browser to do further research, be sure you are clicking through to read articles from trusted, nonpartisan experts. It is too easy these days to operate in echo chambers that shift the norm to extremes. By reading analyses that are unbiased and don’t have inherent conflicts of interest, you are more likely to be able to make informed decisions that represent the future you want to see. Some of these sources include:
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