(Photo by Flickr user Sara used under a Creative Commons license)
Heads up, citizens: This Monday, March 28, is the last day Pennsylvanians can register to vote before the primary election on Tuesday, April 26.
After the actual registration, though, comes the serious part: the voting. What’s the best way to determine which candidates’ values and goals align with your own?
We asked Jen Devor, who is a self-described “true political junkie,” a nonprofit professional and an elected Democratic committee person in the 36th Ward, 37th Division in Point Breeze (as well as, full disclosure, the wife of Generocity contributor Tivoni Devor). Her job as committee person is to register her neighbors to vote and reminding them when elections are coming up.
She also publishes her own quarterly newsletter of who she’s voting for and why, called The Devor Report, written in colloquial language and emailed to subscribers.
“Some people just seem more open to having a calm, collected conversation about politics when it’s kind of broken down and using a different language,” she said.
Devor uses several sources to determine her ballot choices. She discusses issues with people whose opinions she trusts, reads local news and scans policy-focused Facebook groups, such as UrbanPHL.
“The most important thing when researching who to vote for is to look at multiple, conflicting sources,” she said. “It’s really just about immersing myself in the Philadelphia political world and knowing what’s going on.”
Crowdpac is a nonpartisan web tool that makes it easy to learn about politicians’ stances on issues, Devor said. It’s especially useful for less-advertised races, such as judicial races, when voters might not be as familiar with candidates’ positions.
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In case you needed reminding, here’s why Devor says it’s important to vote:
“The people who get elected into office make decisions for you every single day, so you want to make sure the people who you elect represent you,” she said.
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