My Voter's Guide to the November 2004 Elections in Washington/King County/Seattle is now on-line in multiple parts:
- President – John F. Kerry
- Senator – J. Mills
- Congressional Representative and a whole mess of state positions
- State wide initiatives and referendums
- King County and Seattle Charter Amendments, Initiatives, etc.
In the guide I go through the various candidates and issues and explain what my vote is and why. My goal is to provide something I can talk to my friends about, provide myself with a record I can use when seeing the same candidates in future elections and just possibly influence a vote or two. Below I go through the process I use to decide who to vote for.
As a citizen of the United States I believe it is my duty to be educated on the issues and to vote. I use the word duty because a duty is something one does even if it isn't fun. Going through a 110 page voters' pamphlet isn't my idea of a rip roaring good time but it is my duty and so I do it. I actually do much more than just read the pamphlet in deciding how to vote. Specifically I:
- Read the Voters' Pamphlet
- Read the candidates answers to questions from the League of Women Voters (LWV)
- Look over the candidate's websites
- Read the endorsements at the PI, Times, Stranger and any other papers I can find with opinions
- Check Google
How much research I end up doing varies wildly. Some candidates are clearly people I won't be voting for because they hold views completely inconsistent with my own so I can disqualify them early. Typically the more I like a candidate the more research I do in order to make sure I'm not missing anything. I'm not a terribly trusting person so I don't put too much credence into what I read but I hope that between all of these sources listed above I can get a picture of what the candidate really is going to do or what an issue really is about. The whole process typically takes five or six hours This seems a pretty cheap price to pay for fulfilling my civic duty. I am deeply grateful to the Internet for making it so (relatively) easy to be a good citizen.