Making Democracy Work

How to Choose a Candidate

Things to consider

HOW TO CHOOSE A CANDIDATE

Your vote is very valuable
  • It is your way of helping decide who is going to run the government and make decisions, which will affect all our lives.
  • Decide what you think the most important issues are, which candidate cares the most about those issues, how effective you think a candidate will be in office, and whether or not a candidate really cares about what is good for all the citizens.
  • Remember--candidates work for you!

Look carefully at a political campaign ad or TV commercial
  • Does it present facts, address concerns and identify problems?
  • Does it offer solutions through well-thought out platforms, plans and programs?
  • Does it tell me about the candidate's qualifications that are appropriate for the office?
  • Does it tear down the opponent, ignore the issues and present no plans or programs?
  • Does it appeal only to my emotions and feelings about the candidate? Does it appear at the last minute and make charges against an opponent, who then has no time to refute them?
  • Does it deal in half-truths and present obstacles to informed voting?

Political Campaign Tactics
  • Name Calling: Don't be sidetracked by clever words or inflammatory statements which tend to distort the truth.
  • Phony Issues: Beware of candidates who criticize an issue or other candidates but give no possible solutions of their own. Placing blame for problems rather than suggesting solutions is a way of deflecting discussion of an issue.
  • Rumors and Gossip: Watch out for unsubstantiated quotes or ideas that plant doubts in voters' minds about other candidates. Can these "facts" be easily checked?
  • Either-or-Arguments: Pay attention to a candidate who offers only an either-or-argument, which may eliminate many other possible solutions to a problem.
  • Unrealistic Promises: Are the candidate's goals achievable?

Voting Registration and Information
  • Cleveland County Election Board: 405-366-0210
  • League of Women Voters of Norman website: http://norman.ok.lwvnet.org
  • Our website has LINKS to State and County Election Boards and other election information. Create your own ballot on Vote411.org