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For some reason this year California political groups have decided it’s a good idea to text people to ask them to vote one way or the other. That means that every day my phone has at least two (but more likely ten) texts from people I don’t know asking for me to support a ballot measure or candidate, each providing just enough details so that they think I’ll side with them, without pointing out some sticky parts of an initiative that might make me consider the opposition instead.
If the past few years have taught us as a nation nothing, it’s that we all should not only vote, but be informed about what we’re voting about. With all the information out there, figuring out what every item on the ballot means can be a daunting proposition.
Vote Save America has created explainers on ballot initiatives on every state which can potentially make that research a tiny bit easier. To check out the ones in your area you just go to the site and enter your address.
If you’re a complete newbie to politics, the site will briefly explain what each position people are running for actually does as well. For instance, here’s an explanation for the U.S. House of Representatives:
Where the site really shines is with the ballot initiatives. We have 12 of them on the ballot in California in November covering everything from housing programs to daylight savings time.
For each measure, the site gives you a “deep dive” which is actually just a few paragraphs on what the measure actually is and then explains who supports it as well as who opposes it. It also spells out in super simple terms what your yes or no vote means.
For instance, here’s what it says in super-simple terms about a vote for Proposition 10 in California which allows local governments across the states to adopt rent control on houses, condos, new apartments, and vacant units.
With the site, you can decide how you want to vote in each race and virtually click a box. When you’re done going through everything, you can print out everything you “voted” for and take that paper with you to the polls.
Using the site isn’t a replacement for doing your own deep dive into political candidates and issues (which you should absolutely do), but if you’re looking for a little clarification on a few of the more complicated initiatives on your ballot it can be a decent place to start.