The following is the first in a series of reviews of non-partisan election-related resources on the Web. Have a favorite you'd like to see reviewed? email us at [email protected]
HeadCount got (some of) you registered to vote , but the next step is... voting. And that's not as easy as it sounds. Media coverage of the candidates, issues, and controversy can be overwhelming. You may not be fully informed on all of the issues or you haven't thought about how they rank in importance. Luckily, Isidewith.com is here to help.
It starts with taking a survey. Isidewith.com then takes your answers and aligns your ideological beliefs with the ideological beliefs of one of the Presidential candidates. I decided to take the 10-minute survey out of curiosity and in the name of cold, hard research.
The site tries to cater to diverse opinions by providing more than "Yes" or "No" answers to questions on issues ranging from the economy to the environment, domestic policy to foreign policy, healthcare to immigration. This is helpful for people like me, a recent graduate with a BA in Political Science, for whom a "Yes" or "No" answer is simply not enough. Each issue can than be ranked from "Least Important to Me" to "Most Important to Me", which helps link candidates and voters even more specifically. While I took the survey, I found that I ranked foreign policy, the economy and healthcare, and social issues the highest. I know global warming is important, but I was never very good at science and I enjoy wearing shorts in February. I digress. Isidewith.com has found an interesting way to create exposure for more than just the standard two-party ideologies. Every party with a presidential candidate is represented, even parties you may not have known existed, such as the Libertarian, Rent Is Too Damn High, or Constitution Party. At the end of the quiz, I found that after four years and a college education, I still identify the most with current President Barack Obama. Interestingly enough, there were only a few percentage points separating Mr. Obama and Green Party candidate, Jill Stein. After all, I am a vegetarian. Other HeadCount political junkies, Sam D'Archangelo and Ethan Thorpe, took the quiz and found that they both identified with the Green Party 87% of the time. Maybe their New Orleans roots have some influence that this Jersey girl couldn't understand.
Isidewith.com aims to educate voters without aligning themselves with any particular party, candidate, or interest group. It's a great place to start when getting informed and educated on the issues and candidates themselves. Finding a simple way of getting involved in the election can make larger media outlets or news stories seem less daunting. Voting is too important to do blindly.