Site icon League of Women Voters of Kittitas County


Candidates for elected office rarely line up perfectly with a voter’s personal priorities or goals. Many times, voters have never even heard of the candidates. So how does a voter choose the best person for the office? Homework! It’s part of our citizenship duties.

Here is a seven step guide to choosing a candidate.

STEP ONE: Decide what is important to you in the election.

  • Learn a little bit about the duties of the contested office. What will the candidate be expected to do as an office holder?
  • Decide what you care about, what character traits and experience you want in a candidate for the position. Create a Candidate Report Card listing your priority issues and qualities you want in an elected official.

STEP TWO: Take a look at candidate campaign information.

Visit candidate campaign webpages and social media. Ignore slogans and emotional appeals and look for substance. Does the candidate have a clearly articulated set of goals for the office? What changes – if any – does the candidate propose and why? What experience does the candidate have that makes them a good fit for this office?

STEP THREE: How do others view the candidates?

Do you have a trusted group or person who vets candidates and whose goals align in some way with yours? Audubon, perhaps? NRA? AARP? NARAL? What do these groups and people have to say about the candidates? Candidate ratings or endorsements by these groups can be helpful but keep in mind they can also be misleading, depending upon the organization’s goals. Review the organization’s reputation – is it trustworthy? Is it biased? It is also often instructive to look at which organizations oppose a particular candidate. 

STEP FOUR: Rate the candidates on how they campaign.

You can tell a lot about a candidate by how their campaign is run. Voters deserve open, honest and forthright campaigns that actually tell you what the candidate wants to accomplish in office and why. Does the candidate conduct themselves with honor and honesty or do they resort to name-calling, rumor, and loaded statements? Does a candidate promise the sky, evade issues, pass the blame? Or does a candidate offer realistic solutions, give full answers even when unpopular, and reveals costs as well as benefits of their plans?

STEP FIVE: Examine candidates’ campaign finances.

STEP SIX: Where can you find information on candidates?

STEP SEVEN: Choose a candidate!

After you examine your own priorities and desires in a candidate and completed your research, you have the tools to make an informed choice so VOTE!

VOTE for the candidate of your choice!

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