A proposal for voter information

Inspired by the thread on how ballot order changes a candidate’s chance of winning. I think that for any election, from school board to President, part of the election costs should go to making information packets with objective information about each candidate. No insults in it, but an unbiased perspective on where each person stands, and what their career has been.
These should be freely available to anyone who wants them. Voters have a right to make an informed decision. Most of the media is biased one way or the other, and there is a lot of mudslinging all around. There needs to be a free, objective option for anyone to clearly see what everyone stands for.

Who is going to provide unbiased information? If you want to know you have to find out for yourself. It’s both a bug and a feature.

For every major election the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sends every candidate for every office in the area a questionaire and prints their responses verbatim.

And every time there are a whole bunch of candidates who don’t even respond to the questionaire.

Around here, the League of Women Voters also publishes a voter’s guide. They have the same problem.

I also saw the same thing when I was a reporter. Many candidates wouldn’t return my phone calls or emails.

If you don’t believe what you’re being told about the candidates, call the candidate and find out for yourself. Don’t be surprised if they don’t answer.

Here in California, we get a huge voter guide in the mail for every election. It contains tons of information. However, it generally doesn’t include info for high level positions like president, governor, or senator. Just ballot measures and lower level officials.

Didn’t the voter guide for the 2016 Primary include candidate statements from every candidate for President and U.S. Senate that wanted to submit one? Most other races’ candidates, including for the House of Representatives, appear in the sample ballots as they are not statewide elections; nobody in the first congressional district cares about the candidates in the 53rd.

As for a “free, objective opinion,” who’s going to provide it? I take it the OP has not received his share of candidate slam ad phone calls masquerading as election surveys (“Tell me how this statement affects how you would vote about Candidate X: Candidate X is reported to be a lowlife scumbag”); plus, somebody has to check all of the facts.

The League of Women Voters provides online & printed information on the voting process & on each candidate on the ballot. Most info comes from those candidates, but it’s a start. (Here’s the Houston area’s Laeague reporting on 2015 City Council candidates. Snore!)

There is information out there for those who care to look. (Or they can listen to many reports–while considering the interests of those doing the reporting.)

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to make a voter care.