Election season can be a confusing time for citizens. As if regular advertising isn’t overwhelming enough, we are increasingly bombarded with political campaigning as voting day gets closer. With all that noise, it can be difficult to process information at a fast enough pace — not only to make informed decisions, but also to keep track of campaign promises and keep government accountable.
Indiegraf network partners have spent the past couple of weeks building deeply informative content to support readers as they navigate election season, from citizen-powered coverage to voting guides. Here are a couple of interesting ways in which our partner publishers have contributed to democracy in the lead up to their local elections:
Shasta Scout is delivering citizen-powered election coverage, asking candidates to respond to questions that come directly from the community. The questions, which are collected via a reader survey, include topics like religious affiliation, opinions on local law enforcement and plans for addressing some of the region’s top-pressing issues.
Austin Vida offers a quick guide to help readers make an informed decision. The guide includes general information on voting in Travis County, including voter registration events and locations and links to relevant resources for voters.
Sioux Falls Simplified provides a comprehensive yet simplified guide on South Dakota state legislative candidates. The outlet reached out to all 158 candidates running for a state senator or representative position and asked why they’re running and what their biggest priorities are. The guide includes a brief explainer for anyone who wishes to jump to their particular district. They have also published an explainer article on the measures to be covered in the November ballot for South Dakota voters. The resource summarizes how ballot measures work and what is to be decided this November.
RANGE Media put together a guide to aid voters as they navigate the often overcomplicated world of voter guides. The resource includes five voter guides from Spokane and Washington, highlighting the organizations behind them and their political affiliation.
Tone Madison offered a few words of encouragement for Wisconsin’s weary voters, reminding them what’s at stake and highlighting different reasons to go out and vote.
Canada municipal elections: Before and after
Many municipalities in Canada also held local elections this past October. Here’s how Indiegraf network partners covered the matter:
The Discourse prepared voters for local elections by sharing the basics of municipal politics, explaining where, when and how to vote and explaining why local government and school board elections matter. Once elections were held, the outlet followed up by looking into the low voter turnout and surveying local readers on the barriers that prevented them from voting.
Tri-Cities Dispatch introduced mayoral candidates from the three communities it serves (Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam) and rounded up their views on relevant topics such as transportation, homelessness and the environment. Shortly before election day, the outlet also provided readers with a list of voting spots, ensuring eligible voters were able to find the nearest polling place
Sun Peaks Independent News informed readers through the “Mountain Votes 22” series, which included a basic guide on how to vote and articles on the candidates’ priorities in terms of infrastructure, affordable housing and balancing the needs of tourists and residents. Once elections were held, the outlet published a summary of the results.
Peterborough Currents is helping voters keep their local government accountable by offering a recap of the all the promises made by mayoral candidates. The “Promise Tracker” continued to update with new material until all campaigning was done.
And a freebie: Indiegraf alumn The Local offered readers a special series on the 2022 Toronto municipal election that included a candidate tracker, several in-depth investigations and some analyses on the city’s most pressing matters.