Help Friends and Family Make the Right Choices on Their Ballots

The November 6 midterm election is already underway in many states. Votes are being cast in states with early voting and mail ballots. We at MWR have a long history of helping our friends and families make the difficult choices by providing a voting guide with our recommended candidates and positions on local and state ballot initiatives. It’s easy to write your own personal voting guide and it’s always greatly appreciated. Here are some tips to write your own. And we’ve included the one we wrote for our network as a sample (and a real guide for those of you who live in Colorado!)

Creating a voting guide for friends and family:

  1. Ballots differ by city, county, special voting districts, state legislative districts and congressional districts. Begin with the races and issues in your community as you are comfortable.  We tend to weigh in on as many as we feel influence our lives and leave other local communities to decide their own fate.

  2. Next, make sure you cover all the races and (as appropriate) ballot issues that appear. on the ballot. Most states and communities print sample ballots or they are available on election officials’ websites. Make a list of all the candidates and issues you will be voting on November 6. It should come as no surprise that we are recommending in this election that you vote Democrats all the way down the ballot. However, some elections are specifically non-partisan, so you’ll have to investigate those candidates and campaigns.

  3. Meet with friends to discuss candidates and ballot issues. If you’re uncertain about ballot issues, find more information from groups you support and/or trust. For example, if there is a ballot question about school funding, look at the webpage of the local teachers’ organization to see what they are saying. Ask teachers and other educators!  In some communities, the local or state election office will distribute a booklet that describes ballot issues and offers pros and cons for consideration. Your local newspaper may provide a Voting Guide.  Gather all these resources together in one place so you can compare, contrast and debate.

  4. Create a document that you can easily share widely via email or text.  It’s easiest if the sequence of recommendations follows the sequence of the ballot, if possible. Regardless, create a simple list with each race and ballot issue followed by your suggested candidate or vote. For ballot issues, try to write one or two sentences defending your recommendation.  For the most part, everyone knows why they should vote a straight Democratic ticket.  They need help with the other “stuff”.

  5. Email, text, and/or post on social media your voter guide with a reminder to be sure to vote the entire ballot.

Call to Action

Make a Voter Guide for friends and family and distribute it widely as soon as possible! If you live in a state or community with early voting or mail in ballots, most mail in ballots are already in voter mailboxes and early voting has begun. Be sure to remind friends and family to put the appropriate amount of postage on their return ballot and to sign it as required.