SAN ANTONIO – Early voting has officially begun in Texas but before you head to the polls, these San Antonio organizations want to make sure you feel confident about casting your ballot.
Several nonpartisan groups have released voter guides to help Bexar County voters wrap their heads around the long ballot in 2020.
The League of Women Voters says utilizing a voting guide is crucial amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Madu Sridhar is president of the local chapter of the organization. She said: “It is very important during this pandemic to be prepared and go in and out [of the polls] very quickly and this will help you do that.”
Their newest digital guide is a more interactive version of the versions they’ve produced for decades. On VOTE411.org, voters simply enter their address for a personalized ballot. You’ll then get side-by-side comparisons of candidate responses to voter-driven questions.
“This is an absolutely non-partisan tool. We put together questions that are important to voters. We asked the candidates those questions directly and they answered in their own words,” Sridhar said. “A healthy democracy requires participation and commitment. And a healthy democracy requires organizations like the League of Women Voters to provide nonpartisan information needed by voters to make informed choices.”
After reading the candidate responses, you can select which candidate you will vote for in each contest, building a list of all your choices that you can print and take with you to use as a guide when you vote.
Since cell phone use is not allowed inside polling places but paper is, Sridhar encourages voters to utilize this tool to make it quicker and safer to vote during the pandemic.
Click here for more resources from the league on voting by mail, in spanish and special circumstances.
Other groups have released voting guides that are issue-based.
“Not going in [to the polling place] informed was my biggest downfall. I feel like I’d always leave there feeling like I did it. It’s a good thing. But like, what did I actually do?” said Valerie Reiffert, a co-founder of the Radical Registrars, a local social justice activist group aiming to register new voters.
The group of young deputy registrars began signing up new voters at the protests for George Floyd back in June. After the registration cut-off for the runoff election, they went to work on creating a Bexar County voting guide. The Radical Registrars hope their efforts will help voters feel informed and confident enough in their community to vote early and often.
“I need to know who these local people are and everybody else needs to know who these local people are too, so we can really feel change. You’re not going to feel change just voting once every four years. You’ll feel it staying involved in voting every time there’s an election,” Reiffert said.
Those efforts have continued into this presidential election. Find their general voting guide below:
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