Helpful Voter Info Before You Go To The Polls

Election Day is quickly approaching and I am getting a lot of inquiries on how to find info on candidates running for office. So, here are some sites you can visit to help you do your research. 

. This primary election could be a pivotal moment in Idaho, so it is extremely important to research candidates. Good questions to ask or look for are: 

· Voting records if available (Incumbents) – go to https://legislature.idaho.gov/ and click on the legislative Sessions. From there, you can select several options. If you know a specific bill number, click on Legislation by bill number. If you want to search by topic, click on Legislation by topic. The one I like best is Ongoing Weekly Bill Status. You can see every bill and which ones made it to a vote, as well as who voted and how. 

· Campaign Financing – Idaho has a great reporting law. Unfortunately, candidates are only required to file monthly reports, so the next one won’t be required until the 11th of this month. But, this is a great resource to see where the money is coming from. https://sos.idaho.gov/ Idaho Secretary of State site. Click on the elections division – the go to the Campaign Financing Portal. Hello Sunshine! – Sunshine Campaign Finance Search. Click on Candidates and PACS and start searching! If you want info on a specific expenditure or donor, click on them and it will bring up the address. If you want to see a full list of donors including the state, the donation came from hover over any of the donations and click on the C-2 filing. This will bring up a list of everyone and where they are from. 

· Want to know where someone is from? 2 good sources are Spokeo.com (https://www.spokeo.com/) and Whitepages.com (https://www.whitepages.com/). I prefer Spokeo as you can do an extensive search of addresses and for under $1.00 you can pull a full report (watch the fine print though and cancel a subscription before 7 days or you will get charged more). White pages have a flat rate per search. BUT – you will get basic info at no cost like what cities and states they have lived in. 

· Groups supporting/endorsing candidates – you are no doubt getting TONS of mailing on the candidates. Also, if you are on social media, you are seeing groups endorsing candidates. Look to make sure they have “Paid for by…” on them. If not, they are illegally being distributed. Look up the group on the mailing to see who the leadership is, are they from Idaho or out of state, where the money is coming from. If you can’t find anything about them (especially who their leadership is and where the money is coming from), be Leary of that organization – there is a reason they are not being forthcoming in that info! 

· AND – there is always the old-fashioned way -pick up the phone and call them – ask them these questions for yourself. If they really care about your vote, they will answer the phone and answer your questions. Good questions – How long have you been an Idaho Resident. What groups and organizations are backing you? How much of your money is coming from out of state? If incumbent – how long have you held your seat or been in the legislature? Don’t let vague answers be good enough! 

· Talk to people! See what you can find out from others and why they do or don’t support certain candidates. 

There are extreme political groups on both sides of the Isle, so don’t take anything for granted. Do your research!!! The best vote is an informed vote! I hope this helps! 

Don’t forget to vote on May 17th!  

Washington County Federation Of Republican Women

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