WLAA analysis: VOTE411.org breaks down the background, experience and goals of candidates

VOTE411.org is a “one-stop shop” for election-related information and the perfect place for voters to get informed about each candidate running for public office. You see the names on signs in front yards, but do you really know what each “name” stands for, what they hope to accomplish and what their qualifications are to represent your best interests?

VOTE411 has all those answers and more.

Launched by the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) in October 2006, VOTE411  provides nonpartisan information to the public with both general and state-specific information on everything from absentee ballot information to early voting options to general information on such topics as how to watch debates with a critical eye to ID requirements to polling place locations.

One of the most impressive features is information on those running for office with factual data on candidates in various federal, state and local races.

What is VOTE411

Let’s take a look at one of the local races.

Michigan’s 52nd House of Representatives District represents a number of local communities including Chelsea, Dexter Township, Lima Township, Lodi Township, Saline, Webster Township and parts of Ann Arbor, Pittsfield Township, and Scio Township.

Democrat Donna Lasinski is the incumbent and republican Greg Marquis is the challenger. Each candidate filled out Vote411’s candidate questionnaire that includes their occupation, education, qualifications and experience.

For qualification and experience:

Lasinski: “I am a community leader, successful small-business owner, former School Board Treasurer, and current State Representative. I have put my pragmatic approach to work for the people of Michigan.”

Marquis: “10 years with the University of Michigan Dept. of Public Safety, 20 years as a Hazmat Specialist with U of M Environment Health and Safety, served on Washtenaw County Board of Canvassers.”

One of the many informative features on VOTE411 is the Q&A section. Candidates are asked to answer questions on a number of topics of interest including education, social issues, guns and the economy.

Let’s take a look at one questions:

EDUCATION: What is your position on the role of public funding of education in Michigan? What measures do you support/propose to improve educational outcomes and accessibility for all Michigan students?

Lasinski: “Our state must prioritize making workers and small business owners whole again from the negative economic impacts of this pandemic. As we move forward, our state government must follow a Michigan-first policy for purchasing goods and services, prioritize worker access to training and living wage jobs, grow opportunities for our local farmers, expand broadband access to all of Washtenaw County and Michigan, and protect workers’ right to collectively bargain. As we do this work, we must ensure that opportunity is not limited by a person’s race, economic status or education access.”

Marquis: “We need to develop a regulatory structure that fosters economic growth while still protecting workers, the public, and the environment. Many regulations are so cumbersome as to stifle economic growth, and are especially hard on small businesses. We need to make sure that our tax structure does not overburden businesses large and small. Many of these companies have the option of relocating to states and countries with a lower tax burden and will do so, taking jobs with them.”

VOTE411 also includes each candidate’s web site and Facebook page for those looking for even more information to help make the best decision on Election Day.

For the VOTE411 Voter’s Guide click HERE