AMP Votes 2014: Our Top Five Voter Resources

Last week, we discussed the importance of this fall’s election for Michigan’s energy future and how you can register and cast your ballot on Tuesday, November 4.  Whatever your views, AMP encourages all our members—and anyone concerned with Michigan’s energy future—to learn more about the issues, vote in this election, and participate in the discussions leading up to it. 

Below we’ve singled out a few useful objective resources online to help you decide.  If you are going to make a difference, you need to inform yourself about the candidates and their positions on energy issues.

1. Michigan Votes. This interactive site from the Michigan Secretary of State’s office generates a Public Ballot identifying every office, candidate, and proposal that appears on any ballot in a selected precinct.  It’s a great way to learn more about your local and statewide candidates.

2. MLive Voter Guide.  The MLive Media Group is Michigan’s largest newspaper network.  Every election, reporters from MLive papers ask hundreds of candidates in Michigan about themselves and the issues they support. By typing your address in the search form, you can make side-by-side comparisons of these candidates and mark up a mock ballot. 

3. Vote Smart.  A non-profit, non-partisan organization, Vote Smart is essentially a comprehensive repository of information on candidates nationwide.  The group carefully researches political candidates and elected officials to uncover their voting records, campaign contributions, public statements, biographical data and evaluations from special interest groups. 

4. PolitiFact.  This site puts the claims and public statements from candidates to the test through careful fact checking.  Even though the site is from The Tampa Bay Times, it fact checks major candidates nationwide, including some in Michigan.  It has won a Pulitzer Prize for its work.

5. RealClearPolitics. This site is very useful as it compiles numerous polls and offers analysis to try to give readers a clearer picture of where the race is on any given day. 

Additional Ways to Learn More  

Of course, not every voter resource is going to cover every issue you care about.  So what else can you do?  Contact the candidate’s campaign and ask him or her directly.  If a candidate knows certain issues are important to voters like you, he or she will be more likely to address it publicly and get the conversation going. It’s a crucial conversation to have since developing smart policies for our state’s energy future will be a key focus of the next legislature.