Voter Guides

Resources for
Candidate Interviews and Evaluations
(listed below under Resources)

Presidential Office
National / Federal Offices
Statewide Offices
County / Local Offices
Ballot Initiatives
Political Party Platforms
  • Voter Guides educate voters.  They are a source of voting information designed to give you quick, relevant information that will equip you to make votes consistent with your value system.  They help voters understand the issues, and help them to find a candidate who represents their values.  They provide personal and political information about candidates; voting records; facts and not labels; and summaries of complex issues—so that citizens can get a better feel for the way the candidates will represent their constituents.  They also provide responses to candidate surveys, and voters can find out who has endorsed the candidates.  
  • Printed Voter Guides are not provided in Spokane County for every election.  As a result, many voters feel inadequately informed of both issues and candidates—depending largely on name recognition from campaign posters (a very poor substitute) and mailed brochures.  Spokane County does not pay for voters’ guides.  It is the city and county schools and fire districts who generally fund our local voters' guides—not the candidates themselves. 

  • Non-English speaking voters.  Spokane has many citizens who cannot read a voter’s guide—those who are blind, uneducated, have a visual impairment like dyslexia, or those whose primary language is not English.  Spanish pamphlets (only) may be picked up at the Spokane County Elections Office.  Contact the Elections Office to request ballots that are printed in English, Spanish, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Laotian, Russian and Vietnamese.

  • "People are unhappy with government in general, and some feel they don't have enough information on some of the issues," said Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton, in response to an anticipated low voter turnout in 2013.  (Low vote turnout expected today, by Jim Camden, The Spokesman-Review, November 5, 2013)
In past years, those who took the time to study the issues also took the time to go to the polls.  Now that ballots are mailed into homes, more people are casting ballots.  Many may be uninformed voters marking ballots by simply guessing, or voting on name recognition from campaign posters, instead of casting an educated vote.  Thus, the reason Spokane should provide a Voters' Guide mailed for each election.

The State of Washington publishes a Voters' Pamphlet for General Elections only.    


What You Can Do:
  • Study Voter Guides (listed below).  They are a source of voting information designed to give you quick, relevant information that will equip you to make votes consistent with your value system.  You can see responses to candidate surveys and also find out who has endorsed them.

  • Encourage greater simplification of the Voter Guides.  Voter’s pamphlets/guides must be simplified to better educate the voter.  They are usually written in a language which is so formal and particular, that it is away from the normal conversational style—causing confusion and creating difficulty for many in understanding both complicated issues and the values of the candidates.

    To further state this thought
    —Research indicates that 50-75% of college students lack the skills to perform complex literacy tasks, and cannot understand the arguments of newspaper editorials.  (“College Students’ Literacy in Doubt,” AP, Ben Feller writer, The Spokesman-Review, approx. Jan. 20, 2006) 

  • Voter Guides are not provided for local elections, due to the expense to print and mail them.   The only voters' guides Spokane receives are mailed by the Secretary of State.  Petition local leaders to provide a Voters' Guide for each local election. 

  • Seek to improve the effectiveness of campaign advertising—which is credited to increased voter turnout.  Exchange campaign posters for voters' guides, by asking candidates to help fund the printing and distribution of voters' guides to all registered voters before each local election.  Many citizens would pay a small fee to cover the cost of printing, if the guides were accessible. 

    Campaign posters have at least 3 disadvantages.
  1. Posters clutter our community for over 6 months, from May until November, during the campaign season.  Some are posted before the candidate has even filed; and some remain in place after the Primary election, waiting for the General Election. 

  2. Posters do little but cement name recognition into voters’ minds.  Citizens need far more than name recognition to mark a ballet for a candidate who represents their values and positions on various issues.      

  3. Posters waste money which could be better used to promote each candidate’s background, experience, voting record, and other pertinent information (instead of simple name recognition) across various media sources and in a voters guide for each election—which could be mailed with each ballot.   


Local Organizations



Additional Resources:

Spokane Voter Guides
  • We Believe We Vote
    Uses traditional values to make informed voter recommendations.  Their Board  meets with most of the candidates for contested offices in greater Spokane, asks the hard questions in personal interviews, evaluates their answers using a Conservative standard, and posts their recommendations on their website.  http://WeBelieveWeVote.com

    Candidate Interviews, Surveys and Evaluations:


    Presidential Office
    National / Federal Offices
    Statewide Offices
    County / Local Offices
    Ballot Initiatives
    Political Party Platforms
    http://WeBelieveWeVote.com
     

  • For a list of the people and organizations that donated to State and local candidates and ballot measures, visit http://www.pdc.wa.gov

Washington State Voter Guides
  • Pastors Picks
    Pastor Joe Fuiten is involved with Family Policy Institute of Washington in the Seattle area; however, many of his picks sometimes impact our area.  He also posts other pro-family/conservative educational links.
    http://pastorspicks.com/

  • Washington State Elections and Voters' Guide  (from the Secretary of State)
    (not available)

  • For a list of the people and organizations that donated to State candidates and ballot measures, visit http://www.pdc.wa.gov.

Additional Resources
  • Donors to candidates and ballot measure campaigns.  For a list of the people and organizations that donated to State and local candidates and ballot measures, visit http://www.pdc.wa.gov

  • League of Women Voters of Spokane
    2404 N. Howard
    Spokane, WA  99205
    (509) 326-8026
    http://www.LWVSpokane.org
  • Washington State Elections Office
    Change your address, or check your voting history.
    Locate sites where you can drop off ballots.
    View Voter Guides.
    http://secstate.wa.gov/elections
    and click on “My Vote.”