Walking into a polling booth and thinking, “Who is this guy??” could be the scariest thing you do this fall. With major state and national seats on the line, thoroughly researching candidates and their platform is a vital first step in selecting effective leadership this November. As Midterm Elections are almost upon us, now is the time to get to know the people who will potentially represent you, your family, and your community.

Why be an informed voter?

For starters, unaware citizens make for a good laugh on Jimmy Kimmel skits. Seriously though, ill informed voters do little to change the conversation on topics that matter the most in local communities. For education, in particular, the upcoming election–by way of the Governor’s and State School Superintendent race–will determine who rolls out new reform strategies to improve outcomes for students across the state. Likewise, Georgia’s US Senate race will have a tremendous impact on which party controls the House and Senate.

Investigating beyond sponsored television ads and news clippings can  boost the  power of your vote this election day.

3 Ways to Get to Know Midterm Election Candidates

    1. Visit candidate websitesStarting with a visit to candidates’ campaign website is a quick and easy way to familiarize oneself with the respective platforms. Creating a checklist of issues that matter to you will expedite the process of comparing and prioritizing candidates according to their stance.
    2. Check voting recordsBeyond what candidates say, it is important to research how they support the issues you care about. Particularly for incumbents, checking sites such as Govtrack.us will clarify candidates’ legislative voting record. Additionally, it may be beneficial to search for initiatives that candidates are leading independently.  
    3. Attend local debates/community events: Engaging political hopefuls directly and in-person is an invaluable opportunity for informed voters. If possible, make it a priority attend community events where candidates will be in attendance. Also, be sure to attend or watch upcoming debates.

Whether turningout for issues impacting local communities, the state, or the nation, taking the time to know the candidates and where they stand is the responsibility of each voter. With the use of the tips above, make your vote count on November 4th.

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