SoS: Fifty (Six) Nifty Ways to Confuse Us
I’ll start with the good news first. It’s actually REALLY easy to find out who is running for Federal offices like U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative. If you are interested in who is running for Congress, I have one handy link to the Federal Election Commission that will answer just about any question you have about who is running and where they are spending their money.
But there are SO many other important races on a ballot – judges, State Representatives, School Board members – and those are much trickier to find.
Every single state and U.S. territory has its own election information on the Secretary of Elections website for that particular location. Sometimes it’s easy to find the list of candidates on the websites and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes there’s more than just a name and what they are running for, and sometimes there’s not. Sometimes the County races are included on these websites and sometimes they are not. WHY??!!??
It’s appropriate that the Secretary of State websites are abbreviated “SoS” since most of the time I felt like I was in distress trying to navigate them.
I realize that we are putting all of this information on our own Candidate Center, but we also believe that you should have access to where we are getting our information and be able to go there directly. So we are gathering all of this information and putting it in one place for you so that you can have access to it…hopefully with fewer tears and curse words than we spent finding this to begin with.
A fun game to play is to visit the website home page and see how many clicks it takes you to actually find what you’re looking for.
Here’s where it gets really crazy. It turns out that the Secretaries of State, Supervisors of Elections, etc. are public servants who draw salaries paid by our tax dollars. And most of them WANT to do a good job. If you see something that another state has that is helpful or cool just reach out to your representatives and let them know. Those calls and emails help them get the budget approved to make improvements to these websites and trust me when I say that most of them desperately need more funds and attention.
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