Editorial: It’s time to cast your vote

Keywords Opinion / Viewpoint

Early voting is underway in Indiana, meaning that registered Hoosiers can go now to county courthouses or designated voting sites and cast ballots in congressional, state and county races. Election Day, when most people still vote in person, is Nov. 8.

IBJ urges you to take some time between now and 6 p.m. on Nov. 8, when the polls close, to look at who’s running, do a little research and cast votes for the people you believe would make the best leaders for your community, the state and the nation.

Go to indianavoters.in.gov to check your voting status, find out where to vote and see when polling sites will be open in your area. You can even ask for an absentee ballot by mail from the site.

That part is easy.

But finding out about the candidates on your ballot is sometimes easier said than done. The information that comes from candidates and outside interest groups to your mailbox or your phone and through email, TV and radio can be suspect.

That’s not always the case. Most candidates do a pretty good job telling you about themselves—or at least giving you an idea of what they will prioritize if elected. When they start talking about what an opponent might do or when they start producing attack ads, you need to be a bit more skeptical of the claims.

Some candidates—or their representatives—will knock on your door. But that’s no way to get a comprehensive look at who’s on the ballot. We recommend checking out candidates’ websites and social media sites, which can offer quite a bit of information. But again, it’s tough to do that individually ahead of Election Day.

Local news organizations produce stories about some of the most prominent races. IBJ has a page 1A story today about the Marion County prosecutor’s race. On page 3A, you’ll find a story about some of the legislative races in Hamilton and Boone counties. IBJ has posted stories as well about the U.S. Senate race and secretary of state race.

Of course, there’s much more than those high-profile races on the ballot. The Indianapolis Star has been posting stories about school board races from across the region, organized by county. Chalkbeat Indiana wrote a story about the lone contested IPS school board race that IBJ posted online.

Indiana Citizen, a nonpartisan organization, has been working to fill the information gap. At IndianaCitizen.org, you can enter your address and see which races and candidates will be on your ballot. Click on a name, and you’ll find information about each candidate. In some cases, there’s a profile, links to news coverage and campaign finance information. Some races and candidates have more information than others. Still, it’s a good start.

Voting is too important not to try.•

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