Be An Informed Voter

By: Ann McIntire Email
By: Ann McIntire Email

With elections approaching, many may feel bombarded by political ads and campaign pushes, but how well do voters really know the candidates?

While Shawn Williams watched his version of Sunday football, his son playing in a youth league, sports weren't the only thing on his mind. Williams was also thinking about the upcoming elections. "Once you understand a person's character you can look through the smoke and screen of the other stuff."

Williams has tried to teach his children the importance of researching candidates in order to make an informed decision. "It's easy to say something for 12 months leading up to the election, but if you look at the history of a person it shows you the true character."

Kathy Holkeboer is also trying to show voters the true character of candidates through a free, non-partisan Web site she created called VoterInformation.org. "I think it is critical, we must be informed voters, we put people in office at the low level and they advance."

Voters can simply head to the Web site, type in their name, candidate or county and find candidates' answers to specific questions. "If we talk to each candidate and we can compare the opponent's answers to each other, then we can be informed voters."

Holkeboer began her endeavor to find answers after her husband was transferred to Nebraska back in the '80s. "Because Tom was active duty Air Force, he continued to vote from his home state. I didn't have that privilege, I had to vote here and I'm going, I don't know anybody."

Ten years after she began calling candidates to find out their answers, Holkeboer now has nearly 40 volunteers to help in her efforts.

The Web site also has information on bond issues and judges up for reelection. Because the effort is all voluntary and done on Holkeboer's free time, there is a place on the Web site to make donations so it can continue for the next election.

Again, the service is free and available to any registered voter in Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Lancaster, Washington and Seward counties. Click the link below to go to VoterInformation.org.


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