Who are you voting for in the 2011 New Bedford elections? Not sure? If you already know who you are voting for, how did you come to that conclusion? Are you certain it is the right choice?
The biggest problems regarding elections are that too many people do not vote (20% voter turnout in the 2009 New Bedford elections) and those that do vote are not always informed. The result is elected officials voted into office by a minority of the city and elected officials put into office that are not the most qualified. New Bedford deserves more than that.
Soon New Bedford Guide will launch a Political Survey System that will allow voters to take a survey to find out which candidate they match up best with. Think of it as an eHarmony type service for politics.
Here’s how the system will work. Candidates will answer 10-20 survey questions that are important subjects like South Coast Rail, crime, education, economic development and the casino issue. The candidates will answer each question free-text. Voters will then be able to take a blind-survey (not knowing what answer belongs to what candidate), select the answers they like best and see who they match up with when it comes to the most important topics. All candidates are for economic development, but you will be able to find out which candidate’s policies match up best with your views on improving the economy. This survey system will become available next week in time for the Preliminary Election on October 4th and remain available (reset with final candidates) for the final Municipal Election held on November 8th.
For example, there are five candidates running for New Bedford mayor. Voters will be able to take the survey and see which candidate they match up best to least. We will produce surveys for the mayoral race, city council-at-large, one for each ward council race and one for school committee. Surveys questions will be a mix of overall New Bedford issues with the ward-specific races and school committee surveys having specific questions related to the specific ward or schools.
The goal of this survey system is to get voters to vote for the candidates they match-up best with and not vote for people based on party affiliation, who a newspaper endorsed or yard signs. Hopefully, this will ensure we have the best man or women for the job and a strong mayor for the next two years.