PA Nonpartisan Candidate Guides
Posted by Campus Election Engagement Project on October 25, 2022
In a time of widespread political cynicism, disinformation, and spin, nonpartisan candidate guides can provide a concise and credible way to compare candidate stands. They can help people get past both misinformation and the myth that it’s not worth participating to vote because candidates are “all the same,” “all just corrupt, all lying and spinning.” Beginning in 2012, Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) produced these guides, first to help college students vote, where our campus partners, including those in Iowa and Minnesota, consistently called them their favorite resource. And then to help the constituents of a broad array of civic organizations understand where candidates actually stand. Your members promoted them at pretty much all of CEEP’s schools, and they got off-campus reach through Do Something, HeadCount, Nonprofit Vote, vote.org, and our new fiscal sponsor, Youth Service America, plus groups like the NAACP and Black Voters Matter, both of which are distributing several hundred thousand copies.. Both campus and off-campus partners said they were crucial not only in helping their constituents decide who to vote for, but whether to vote at all.
Now a separate entity, guides.vote has produced guides for the Pennsylvania Senate and Governor’s races, plus our Congressional guide:
- PA Governor Guide 2022
- PA Governor Guide 2022 (Spanish)
- PA Senate Guide 2022
- PA Senate Guide 2022 (Spanish)
- PA Congressional Guide 2022
We also have a newly updated guide to disinformation.
So hope your schools can distribute them in these ways:
- Request free guides blown up as 2’ x 3’ banners to distribute in high-traffic locations. We’ve extended the deadline for this to the end of this week, so it’s still possible. And schools found all sorts of innovative ways to use them, like hanging them from posts in front of the student union, or putting them on the walls in high traffic areas. So if your school (or a community group you work with) can use them, just fill out the form and send them at no charge.
- Email relevant guides campus-wide, or a link to your state guides page. Ideally through all-campus email (senior administrators and top student government leaders have access), but if not, through as many campus groups as you can reach. Nearly half the schools we worked with did this and got excellent responses.
- Link to them or post them in their entirety on your campus nonpartisan website. If you post, just give us credit and a link to our site.
- Share them on social media with our new easy-sharing tool, or better yet have the school share them. We also have a portfolio of high quality images, and sample tweets, posts and state-specific images in our promotional toolkit.
- Share the fun Tik Tok we just had created for us
- Use the other ideas in our resource on how to distribute guides on campus. Our youth and campus outreach director, Payge Hardy, who I worked for three years at CEEP, also has great ideas.
- And finally, do please pass our guides beyond the campus gates, to community groups, friends, relatives, and anyone else who could use them or might help distribute them. Here’s a resource on what community partners can do.
These guides make a critical difference, our campus partners say, in overcoming the political cynicism that insists there are no significant differences worth voting for. In a recent Knight Foundation survey, 38% of 18-24 year-olds said they didn’t have enough information about candidates and issues to decide who to vote for, and 11% weren’t sure they did. Their role in comparing and contrasting candidate stands will be even more key this year without a Presidential race to draw students on both sides to the polls..
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