Thanks to the Internet, people can get information about any topic imaginable with the click of a mouse. With the general election coming up on Nov. 4, less than a month away, voters may wish to obtain information on the voting records of various candidates. Everyone is aware of the key race for the U.S. President, yet there are races for the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives that deserve attention as well.
To help evaluate a candidate’s performance, there are myriad Web sites that offer analysis on issues ranging from the financial crisis to health care. The League of Women Voters Education Fund has put together the “2008 General Election Presidential Voters’ Guide,” accessible at www.vote411.org. The site also has general information on voting, such as registration, polling places and ballot details.
The League of Conservation Voters (www.lcv.org) publishes a “National Environmental Scorecard,” and the 2007 edition covers the First Session of the 110th Congress (the most recent year for which data is available). By selecting a state from a menu, it is easy to determine how senators voted on environmental issues such as energy legislation (H.R. 6), Liquid Coal (H.R. 6 – amendment), water resources – global warming (H.R. 1495) and farm bill – subsidy reform and caps. On the House side, it is possible to check how representatives voted on environmental issues such as energy legislation (H.R. 3221), global warming and national security (H.R. 2082), offshore drilling (H.R. 2643) and hardrock mining (H.R. 2262).
The National Wildlife Federation (www.nwf.org) has worked with the Energy Action Coalition to launch a campaign to unite youth voters across the country. Details on this movement – Power Vote 2008! – are on the NWF Campus Ecology site and there are links to take the pledge. Power Vote (www.powervote.org) is a national youth-led campaign to demonstrate to candidates up and down the ballot that young people demand action on climate change.
The NWF’s website also features “Special Report: The Presidential Election,” for which each candidate had the opportunity to answer the same questions on key conservation issues. Their unedited responses give an opportunity for voters to learn more about their policies and plans.
A fourth resource is “Candid Answers: Voter Guide for the Environment Election ’08,” a project of the NRDC Action Fund, an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). U.S. Congressional candidates were asked to respond to five questions, one on each of the following topics: global warming, renewable energy, nuclear power, transportation and fuel efficiency. These questions were developed in collaboration with leading policy experts at the nation’s top environmental organizations and endorsed by a bi-partisan review panel.
Here are the tools. Readers can use some of these resources to research the candidates and cast their your ballots as informed voters. It’s the least you can do for your country.
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