Election Season 2024: Do Your Research Before You Vote

June 20, 2024・4 mins read
Election Season 2024: Do Your Research Before You Vote

It’s voting season again, and many people wonder how they can properly research to ensure they know who to vote for. That can be the age-old question in relation to voting. Let’s take a deeper dive into voting research, particularly for those interested in ensuring they are keeping human rights in mind.

When looking at a sample ballot, what is the first thing that you review? We strongly suggest that you research the candidates first, and make sure to review each candidate’s position on legislative measures. So, let’s start there.

While legislative measures may not appear on your ballot, a candidate’s position can absolutely help you identify if a candidate is someone you want to support – what legislation did they vote for or oppose, and how does that line up with your own personal ethics or political thoughts?

Depending on what you want to learn about a particular candidate on the ballot, there are several different types of resources you can search:

  • LGBTQ+ Victory Fund: This organization supports LGBTQ+ candidates at all levels of the government. They offer a candidate search feature so you can learn more.

  • Legal Defense Fund: This organization provides details on how to research candidates and positions they have taken previously in their careers. Be sure to review their “More Voter Resources” section for additional options.

  • Human Rights Campaign (HRC): The organization has been an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights since 1980, and several years ago they developed a way for people to review laws and concerns in every US state. On their page, there are details relating to state and local policies, equality rights specifically, and elections as a whole.

Legislative measures can be more difficult to research and review, because they can vary widely from one jurisdiction to another. Here are some ways that you can be informed about state and local legislation.

In 2023, the HRC issued a state of emergency for the LGBTQ+ community relating to an unprecedented wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. This prompted the foundation to create several resources and initiatives including the Count Us In pledge, of which TriNet is a proud participant. Learn more in TriNet’s 2023 Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Report and related blog, Supporting LGBTQ+ Employees in an Evolving Legal Landscape.

Another major initiative by the HRC is their State Equality Index (SEI). The HRC SEI provides insight for all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., in certain areas of law and assigns the states to one of four distinct categories:

  • High priority to achieve basic equality

  • Building equality

  • Solidifying equality

  • Working toward innovative equality

You can review the state where you live to identify any areas of concern as well as positive actions taken statewide. This can help you pinpoint specific issues to focus on.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has also developed a tracking system for anti-LGBTQ+ bills proposed in 2024. Using their interactive map and database, you can review laws by state, issue or status. This tracker also includes useful details on who voted for the laws, which may provide helpful insight about state or local candidates running for reelection.

Now more than ever, it’s important to remember that your vote absolutely does count! Research and make the decision that is best for you and your ethics, and definitely get down to the polls and VOTE!

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