A Look at Voter Guides for San Diego

by on October 17, 2018 · 0 comments

in San Diego

I don’t know if there’s Blue Wave building, but I can tell you I haven’t seen such engagement and interest in an election in recent memory. An indication of voter interest is the proliferation of voter guides. Not that long ago, the term ‘voter guide’ either meant a handout from a political party or a slate mailer from a pay to play outfit.

Given that I worked on two such efforts this year, I thought I’d take a few minutes to catalog and comment upon some of what I’m seeing in the way of election-related compendiums and endorsement lists.

Vote Smart offers up a wealth of information on elections around the country, with details on 13,849 congressional, gubernatorial, state legislative, statewide, and state judicial contests, along with ballot measures. Categories of information include biographies, voting record, positions, ratings, speeches, and funding. Using this site does require some effort, and the information -particularly that asked of candidates- may not be complete. It’s an all-volunteer effort and goes out of its way to not show bias.

Voter’s Edge works by having you to plug in your address to see research on those candidates and propositions appearing on your ballot. It is a joint project of MapLight and the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (LWVCEF). It strives to be a nonpartisan online guide to elections covering federal, state, and local races in the state of California. Voter’s Edge is the group partnering with KPBS for election information. Information on candidates who do not cooperate with their researchers can be sparse. If you’re looking for judicial candidates, who largely run unopposed, this is the place to look.

The San Diego County Democratic Party offers a handy-dandy printable PDF of their endorsements. It’s one place where I’ve seen a listing of the more than three dozen major and minor ballot measures from around the county. Wanna know where they stand on the Borrego Springs Fire Protection District Bonds? It’s in there. I should point out that not all Democratic candidates get listed, just the ones who got the votes of the Central Committee.

The San Diego County Republican Party (I’m assuming you’re curious about who NOT to vote for) also has an endorsement page and printable PDF.

The Courage Campaign has a chart listing 10 liberal/progressive/labor organizations and their positions on the 11 State Ballot Propositions. Clicking on the organizational names will take to each group’s website.

CALmatters has an interactive site covering the California State Propositions, for those who like a lot of wonk in their research. You’ll get asked questions as you swipe right or left on the screen (or use the arrow buttons for tactile-impaired hardware). Also, there are one-minute video explainers.

Voice of San Diego has a podcast explaining state ballot propositions, along with a guide to local measures that includes some of the non-city/county choices you could be facing, depending on where you live..

The San Diego Union-Tribune’s list of endorsements, unlike in past decades, does not seem to follow any particular ideological leaning. In fact, I’m wondering if they just threw darts on some choices. Where the paper’s editorial team does shine is with their candidate interviews, which reveal the substance (or lack thereof) behind the clammy handshakes.

I need to give a shout out to the San Diego Indivisible Downtown Midterm Voter Guide, a link-laden tour of local contests, along with a handful of endorsements. (Full disclosure: I headed up the research team for this effort.)

Defending Our Future: Indivisible in CA 52nd District has produced a spreadsheet comparing endorsements by local publications and organizations. It’s a little tough to use on a phone, but well worth your time if you’re looking for info not covered in this column.

Finally, may I suggest The San Diego Free Press General Election Progressive Voter Guide, featuring websites, social media links plus more than three dozen candidate endorsements, along with yea or nay on 23 state, county, and city propositions. Don’t vote without it.

UPDATEs: San Diego City Beat is out with their always insightful voter guide. We agree with many but not all of their picks. I can’t figure out why Tim Nader’s picture is in the Superior Court Office #37 part of the guide, other than he’s probably a more progressive choice than Matt Brower, who made it past the primary to run against the simply awful Gary Creep. (I kid. Doing voter guides is hard work.)

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council now has their endorsements online.

I promise this will be the last update (crosses fingers). The San Diego Democratic Socialists of America have posted their list, and it’s analyses are worth noting.

If you want to know who and what will be on the ballot you’re going to cast: View your sample ballot here by plugging in your address.

There are 1.7 million registered voters in San Diego County. If you aren’t one of them, I’ve got good news: You have until October 20 to sign up. Here’s the link to register to vote. Not sure if you’re registered? Check here.

Getting out the vote is clearly the priority in this week’s calendar of events, as it should be. Ignore the polls and the trolls. Do your bit to make sure all your neighbors, friends, and family vote in the general election. I should also note that getting involved with campaigns as a volunteer is a great way to expand your circle of friends beyond social media.

Get your event listed in the SDFP Progressive Activist Calendar: I try to list the next 10 days or so of mostly non-commercial events I think our readers might find of interest. I source my material from social media listings and press releases. Club meetings will be listed IF there are speakers and they are open to the public.

Democratic Candidates: I will list all non-fundraising events open to the general public. A listing does not imply endorsement. Events that are listed on Facebook as ‘private’ or sold-out are not listed. In cases where there are competing but similar events or campaigns of the progressive persuasion, I do my best to list everything.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: