tasha.elizarde
Sep 20, 2018

How do you vote when you're confused?

2 comments

Election season is big in Alaska this year, in part because of a controversial ballot measure set to be voted on this November. Proponents of ballot measure 1 argue that passing the measure will mean better protections for salmon habitat and the salmon economy by way of adding screenings on development projects before they start in the state. Critics argue that ballot 1 will harm development in the state and cause the state to lose revenue.

 

Pit as a two-sided issue, the major campaign organizations -- Stand for Salmon, pro-ballot 1 and Stand for Alaska, anti-ballot 1 -- are fighting hard on this issue. Even before I decided to work for the Stand for Salmon campaign, I saw the work around ballot 1 as confusing and incomprehensible. There's a lot of conflicting information being spurted on the ballot measure and I find myself having to explain the policy the ballot measure is proposing multiple times a week to Alaska voters (and I still sometimes do, even though I've moved out of Alaska)! Because of all of the information, voting on ballot measure 1 really does seem like a 2-sided issue, and not what it really is: a nuanced policy proposal to a problem facing the state of Alaska.

 

The problem I'm pointing out in this post isn't about salmon or development (although both issues are worth exploring in another blog post), but rather how politics are talked about in this day and age. As a voter, it is very easy to get confused by information floating around and not know how to decide because of the confusion we experience. Because of this, deciding how to vote is challenging, and can sometimes make people not want to vote or participate in politics at all.

 

What do you think -- how have you experienced politics in the past? How do you decide the vote?

david.hu241
Oct 3, 2018

I think many voters across America are confused over politics - unless you are constantly reading the local papers, it's certainly hard to keep track! Questions on the ballots can often seem really obscure, and my best guess is many voters do not do adequate research before heading to the booths - a problem with the structural system, not the constituents.

Felicity Wong
Jan 30

I think I agree with David -- it is certainly our job as the electorate to inform ourselves before we go out and vote, but oftentimes, resources aren't readily made available for those who do want to educate themselves. Many voters also currently don't have an incentive or aren't aware of the consequences of their vote.

 

What do you think the government / institutions can do in order to fix this problem?

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