It’s Labor Day weekend, and many voters have a chance to unwind and relax. Deciding how to vote two months from now, frankly, is probably the last thing on your ‘“to do” list for the weekend. In fact, we hope you are about ready to start making decisions.
If not, take some time soon to really consider the pluses and minuses of the candidates in the presidential races, as well as all the others. Check out at least one non-partisan voter guide. The Kansas League of Women Voters has put together VOTE411.org, which allows you to enter your address and zip code for personalized voting information. It provides a link to register to vote online (the deadline, Tuesday, Oct. 13, is coming up so if you haven’t, make a point of doing it now.). Voting by mail or in person begins on Tuesday, Oct. 13. It also helps you find your polling place, where you can vote in person and it provides information about each candidate which they have submitted from a questionnaire sent to them by the League.
Ballotpedia.org is another internet site where you can access a personalized voter guide based on your address. It also relies on candidates to respond to their survey.
If you can’t find information about candidates on either site, you can visit the candidate’s social media pages and their official websites to learn where they stand on different issues.
Keep an eye on the news, and stay up to date, but keep in mind that there are many alternative news sites and the integrity with which they report varies. Don’t rely on just one, and don’t ignore discrepancies.
Recent reports that Russian state media and proxy websites are hard at work disseminating false information to amplify distrust in our Democratic process can’t be ignored. Investigations by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has unequivocally concluded these groups are working to undermine the 2020 election, as they did the 2016 election. That being said, don’t allow yourself to be manipulated by sensational reports posted on social media. If a report seems outlandish, voters can fact check pieces simply by typing “fact check (whatever the issue at hand is)” into their internet search engine, and take a look at what comes up. Or, visit FactCheck.org and see how even mainstream news reports measure up.
For the next two months, we know we can expect increasingly vitriolic statements between candidates for the presidential race, each vying to win voters over to their sides. And soon, voters will be able to start nailing down where they stand. Some will vote early, by mail or in person, and others will wait until the last minute. Regardless of who you choose to put your vote behind, we hope you will at the very least make it a priority to take part in the election and cast a vote. That is probably the most important thing the average person can do.