This isn't a political post, it's a description of my experience
August 2, 2022 is the Primary elections.
In all my years of being an adult, I've never felt more passionate to understand who I'm selecting as the candidate I support then I do now. With all the decisions being made in our government that don't feel like they align with my values, I wanted to make a more informed decision rather than selecting just because. If I'm being honest, this task feels overwhelming and I found myself asking:
Where do I start?
What does this mean to me?
Who am I going to select?
To answer those questions, I took to the search engines to find out more information and my thoughts below describe how I started and opinions on the voter guide.
Where did I start?
For about two weeks I've told everyone around me that I'd like someone to develop a website that's built off of APIs that will present all the information I need about a candidate to understand who they are. After looking on Google, I found a resource that helped me understand the candidates based on how they Oppose/Support certain questions. I started with the following, 2022 AZ Voter Guide, and below is a high level overview from my perspective about the Voter guide:
Federal / State candidates answers only
Common questions asked between Federal / State, but not necessarily consistent
Candidates had the opportunity to decline, in these cases alternative contact information was provided.
Links to City & County candidate websites only
Lacks information on roles like State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Justice of the peace, etc.
For those roles that lack information, I took to a search engine with the role and searched for different resources that gave background on the candidate, the role they're trying to fill, and their opponents to understand who I felt aligned with my values.
My thoughts on what I read in the Voter guide...
First, if a candidate chose to decline answering the questions, in my book, they're automatically out. I know this may be an unpopular opinion, but if you can't answer a basic question of where you stand on a question, you're not being transparent enough for me to allow you the privilege to make decisions on my behalf.
Second, the questions were sometimes strange, e.g.
"Allow parents to seek professional counseling for their minor child", are we not allowed to do this now?
"Expand background checks to include guns purchased from private individuals", as opposed to public individuals?
"Amending the U.S. Constitution to require Congress to balance the federal budget every year", do they not actually do that now?
Third, I really would have loved to see the same (or expanded set) of questions asked to both the Federal and State candidates. This would help me understand the different goals and values of the Federal roles vs. the State roles.
Do your part, Vote!
These next few years are critical to the future. If you're in a place where you are:
Feeling defeated by the policies
Don't understand the current decision making process
Don't understand the plans of the person you're electing
Want to make a change
Do your research this election year. Understand the plans (aka values/goals/outcomes) of the candidates you're backing. And, VOTE!