Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Election Decisions Made Easy

I have to admit, when I come across one of those quizzes on Facebook, unless I'm in a hurry, I'll almost always click on it and give it a whirl. I've found out that I'm smarter than a 5th grader, I should be driving a Model T, I'd be most comfortable living in the Renaissance (not without central heat, I wouldn't), and that I should play either the French horn or the triangle (I've played both, so I guess that's okay). But honestly, none of these revelations help me with everyday decisions.

The other day I found a quiz that really WAS helpful.  If you go to and take the survey, it will show you which candidates on next Tuesday's ballot agree most closely with your own views.

Another nice thing about this voter guide is that you can take the fairly quick version if you don't have much time--maybe 5 minutes of yes/no questions in categories ranging from the environment to education to economy and beyond. You're also asked to rate each question on how important that issue is to you. Or, if you want to get a fuller picture, you can "Choose another stance" to see more possible answers.

Also, at the bottom of each category, you have the option of choosing to answer additional questions for that topic, so if it's an issue that very important to you, you might want to tackle all the questions. For instance, under environmental issues, there are no questions on fracking unless you choose to see the extra questions. In Pennsylvania, that's pretty important. The expanded quiz might take you 15 minutes.

At the end, you'll be shown a sample ballot according to which candidates agree most with your views. It'll even show you percentages of agreement with each candidate, so if you're a true middle-of-the-roader, this should help.

The nice thing about this system is that it saves the trouble of going to each candidates' website and reading though reams and reams of words about each issue. And it DEFINITELY saves on trying to figure out who's lying and who isn't in each TV ad (answer--both sides are, at best, skewing the truth, so don't pay attention to ads or robo-calls or any other advertisement).

To see a sample ballot or determine your polling place go to and select Norristown.

Remember, bad politicians are elected more often by people who DON'T go to the polls. In the mid-term elections of 2010, voter turn-out was very low and it resulted in the most do-nothing Congress in U.S. history. For this election, especially for Pennsylvania because of the governor's race, it's vital that everyone gets out to vote.

Besides, voting makes you feel good. Even better than, say, taking a quiz to find out which Disney character has your personality.

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