The three main parts when research who and what to vote for are discussing the challenges when it comes to conducting research on issues and candidates, reflecting on where your beliefs fit in with the political discourse, and identifying tools and strategies that will help you get informed!
The first step when preparing to research is to reflect on your viewpoints and biases. Reflecting on what you find to be most important will allow you to better determine where you fall on the political spectrum. The topics below are all great places to start when reflecting.
Below are a few websites that you can visit to see which political parties your values align most closely with.
After reflecting on your values and using them to take the political typography assessments, you will be able to better understand which political candidates and issues to vote for based on what is important to you.
After reflecting to understand where you fall on the political spectrum, the next step is to seek out information that allows you to make informed decisions. Below is a list of websites that you can check out to stay up to date on the validity of the information that you are presented within the media.
In addition to reflecting on your values and seeking out credible information, it is also important to empathy in the sense that these political issues will impact real people. Take your time researching issues and understanding their potential impact.
Some perspectives need to be sought out more than others as perspectives of dominant communities are shared more frequently and given more weight. When this is the case, we should be thinking about whose perspective we don't have access to as frequently. For example, if you are straight and there is legislation on the table that affects the LGBTQIA+ community, it is important to seek out those perspectives on that legislation. Additionally, if you are a member of a marginalized community, it is important to ensure that you are practicing self-care when seeking other perspectives as you may run into harmful language about your communities.
This practice is particularly important for individuals who belong to dominant communities. If during your reflection you realize that you spend most of your time interacting with perspectives that validate your own, make significant efforts to reach out to people in other communities in order to learn about their perspectives. This can look like
Empathizing is something everyone must incorporate into their research structure for politics. As the votes, we cast impact everyone in our country so we want to make sure we are considering all of those perspectives.