Ready for Election Day?
Posted: Wednesday Oct 29, 2014

Election Day is one week away – how ready are you to cast your vote?

With the abundance of political ads, negative campaigning, and frequent reporting on public dissatisfaction with government inundating our current media, it’s only natural that potential voters feel anywhere from overwhelmed to just complacent when it comes to heading to the polls.

As an information-sharing portal, however, it is the role of CivicSource to help alleviate some of the confusion that surrounds election season and make voters more confident that their vote means something come November 4. Election Day may be one week out, but that’s plenty of time to arm yourself with information on the candidates’ platforms before you cast your vote.

For an easy but thorough overview of the Illinois General Election, check out this non-partisan voter guide put together by Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services at UIC. The guide provides information on:

  • Registering to vote and the voting process in Illinois;

  • Candidates for the statewide races for executive office;

  • Candidates for United States Senator and Representatives;

  • Background on the ballot measures.

Drawing from a variety of sources, this resource synthesizes election information and simplistically lays out which position each candidate takes on specific issues. The guide also describes in detail each ballot question and presents arguments for and against the measure.

For a more interactive learning experience, try out this quiz to see which candidates and ballot measures you side with for the upcoming election. The quiz includes questions from a range of issues (social, economic, environmental, healthcare, education, immigration, etc) that ask you to indicate your stance on that issue as well as how important you consider the issue to be. If you’re unfamiliar with a particular issue, you can read a short description that contextualizes it, and you can also view public opinion, including on which side people fall based on location, political party, ethnicity, income, education, and marital status. An algorithm then determines which candidate most closely aligns with your political views.

Voting shouldn’t be an act done without homework. And yet, doing the homework and accessing the information shouldn’t be a difficult task. Before heading to the polls next Tuesday, take a few minutes to scan through these resources. See which candidates align with your position on issues that are of importance to you. When you vote, cast an educated vote. You’ll feel your vote was worthwhile and, no matter the outcome of the election, you will have participated as one should in a democracy: as an informed and engaged citizen. 

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