When an election is coming up, voters have to consider their values, main concerns, and qualities to look for before they choose the candidate they want to support.

But how can you choose when many candidates may seem very similar?

If you already know which party you’re most interested in, you might find that several candidates say they stand for the same things.

As a voter, you need to do your due diligence and choose the candidate that inspires you. If you’re curious about how to decide who to vote for, keep reading to learn more.

Decide What You Are Searching for First

As a voter, you want to make sure that your vote counts and that you’re choosing the candidate that is best for the job. Candidates can usually be judged based on their leadership qualities and the experience they have from prior positions.

Both of these qualities are important, but you need to choose which one is most important to you. Determine which issues you are most passionate about in your community, whether it is local or regional, and look for the qualities you desire in a leader.

What types of issues do you want your candidate to address and how do you think they should address it? There are a variety of topics that candidates can take a stance against, so finding the candidate that most closely aligns with your values and beliefs is a great place to start.

Think about not only the candidate that you believe would be the best leader in any situation, but also the candidate that you believe would make the best choices for the community.

What Experience Matters?

Some may believe that political or military experience is a crucial element of a good politician while others think it isn’t very important.

For the most part, many voters want politicians that have experience of some kind relating to social matters and representing groups of people. Without it, it can be hard to figure out what kind of leader the politician will be.

The amount of experience that a voter believes a candidate should have will vary based on each person, so consider this before you start to look further into what the candidates stand for.

Gather Materials and Information

Before you can choose a candidate, you have to find out who is running! You can check online, in your local newspaper, or in a variety of sources to find out more about who is on the ballot.

Once you’ve figured out that information, you can start to gather more particulars about who those candidates actually are. What are they running on and what type of campaign literature is available?

If you find something that you don’t know the answer to, you can always call the campaign headquarters to get the information you’re looking for.

You can also gather more details through:

  • Candidate speeches
  • Press reports
  • Campaign websites
  • Direct mail pamphlets
  • Debates
  • Media advertisements

With local races, don’t forget to check out any interviews they have completed. You can also find these with larger political races, but local races are going to be more geared toward your specific local community and you may get a lot of information about candidates based on how they answer driven questions.

If it’s an incumbent you’re considering, such as Dennis Bonnen, you can see what their previous voting records are to get an idea of where they stand on political issues.

Find out About Leadership Style

Determining whether or not a candidate will be a good leader is a hard task in some cases, but it is one of the most important traits of any good politician. How can you know they will be honest and open with their constituents? How can you know how they will act under pressure?

If you need some help with “reading between the lines” and learning more about the leadership qualities in the candidates, there are a few things that may be helpful.

Look at how the candidate has prepared for the job. What does their past experience look like?

Consider what their campaign has been built on and how they speak before others. Do they speak in front of a variety of groups (even those that may not be sympathetic toward them)?

When you’re looking at their campaign materials, you can start to view more about their personality and the qualities that have been showcased. Make sure that all of this information is accurate by double-checking all sources.

Leadership Styles of Politicians

There are different leadership styles that you may want to know before determining which one you would most want in a politician.

The main styles of leadership include:

  • Authoritarian
  • Participative
  • Delegative
  • Transactional
  • Transformational
  • Situational

Some of these leadership styles are more effective than others, especially in certain situations. The environment and the events unfolding will both influence the type of leadership style that politicians display, but it can help you to see how they work with or against others.

How to Decide Who to Vote For

Now that you have a better idea of how to decide who to vote for, it’s time to do more research on your own.

Take a look at all of the available materials and find out which candidate is a good leader and shares your values. This is the best way to determine who will be a good fit for your community and what changes you want to see.

Are you interested in learning more about politics and what’s happening all over? Check out the Politics tab on our website and keep up to date with the latest information.

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