Simple Ways to Vote Smartly

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Making the decision to vote is already a laudable decision. Elections in democratic countries across the globe have been plagued by low voter turnouts at some point in the past years. For this reason, the people who participate by voting are doing their nations a great service. On the flipside, others’ lack of participation could mean that some important issues will not be addressed given minimal representation. One of the things that should be foremost in people’s minds during elections is that their votes send a message to parties and candidates in regard to which issues they support. Voting wisely is a catchphrase that involves fairly simple steps.

Set expectations

Voting is an investment of time and resources. At some point, you have to deal with voter registration and keep it updated, if needed. You spend time heading to the polls, lining up, and filling up the ballot. Given the amount of time you ultimately have to spend on the process, you might as well make sure that your vote is not wasted. Even if your choice of candidate does not win, getting your vote out there is an exercise of your right to choose and be heard. And your choice and your voice matters. It is important that you are clear about your expectations from yourself and from the candidate or party you are supporting. Know what you want. This makes it easier to review your options.

Know what to look for

Know what you require from a candidate. What qualities are you looking for? Would you vote for someone perceived to be nice but does not have a proven track record? Are you going to stick with political party loyalty or would you consider voting from another party? Knowing what you are looking for in a candidate helps you judge who deserves to get your vote.

Look beyond personality

Being nice does not guarantee competence and integrity. There are many nice-looking people around who fail miserably in terms of depth of character. Politicians are well-adept at playing nice. It would be political suicide for them not to unless it serves a purpose. Look beyond initial impressions when it comes to personality and see other factors that would make a candidate a suitable choice.

Learn about the candidate’s platform

Find out the candidate’s platform. Learn what the person’s stand on local, national, and global issues. Watch debates or read up on interviews and other articles that may provide you with more insights on the candidates’ views on issues and policies.

Consider credentials and credibility

In the end, one of the questions every voter needs to ask is if the candidate would make a good leader. This may be difficult to know for sure. But consider credentials, credibility, and track record. These things should provide you with a glimpse of what you can expect from the person as a leader.