The election is over, the results are in, but the results are not what I’m concerned about. Today I voted for the first time and I am angry about what I experienced when I was trying to vote.
I don’t really follow the news too closely, so when I received my Absentee ballot and didn’t recognized most of the names on the ballot, I decided to wait to fill out my options and try to make the most informed choice I could make. So I googled them. I looked for them on OnTheIssues.org, on Ballotpedia, on VoteSmart.org, etc. but I couldn’t find most of the names, and if I did find them the information was sparse or irrelevant.
Then I thought that maybe the place where I drop off my absentee ballot will have some information pamphlets or something that would give me more insights into my options. Shockingly they didn’t. I asked how or where I would be able to find out more and they just said google.
This was my first time voting, but I thought it would be drastically different then it was. I thought the people working at the polls would be happy that someone would want to make an informed decision, instead they were unhelpful and did not provide any resources.
The lack of information available made me angry, but what really frustrated me was the lack of information even available online. I ended up spending an hour just googling candidates on one of the computers at the senior center.
Either the candidates only listed their stance on a few issues, or they didn’t have any information at all. One even had a campaign website that just didn’t work. Why isn’t there one website that has a compiled list of their opinions, or better yet a required questionnaire when announcing their candidacy that is circulated to voters.
If the goal is to get people to vote, you have to give them a reason. They need to know what they are voting for or against and why. This applies to all voters of all parties. There needs to be a push for education surrounding the election and the process.
I should probably have done more research, or read more articles, but I feel that I probably made a more informed choice than a lot of people who voted today. Information should be readily available for anyone who wants it. In any case my mood is shared by a lot of other people, angry, frustrated, and scared of what the future holds.