The New Candidate’s Guide to Ballotpedia
If voters are going to be searching the internet for info about you, make sure there’s some to find.
For the politically engaged individual who wants to keep track of all the basic facts of the USA’s numerous elections, it’s hard to beat Ballotpedia. The online encyclopedia is kept relatively up-to-date by a team of expert writers and researchers, not crowdsourced like its Wikipedia-adjacent name might indicate. But today I want to talk about that “relatively” and how it affects your candidacy.
When you file your paperwork, Ballotpedia creates a profile for you related to the race you’re running in. However, they put almost no information but the race you’re running in. As an example I’ll use Lauren Childers who ran an unsuccessful bid for the Mississippi House of Representatives’s 3rd District (I don’t mean to pick on Lauren! She’s just a typical example of the basic info profile that goes up).
They add details about the office to the profiles of sitting legislators, giving incumbents a advantage in information. However, you don’t have to be a faceless blob, mysterious and undiscoverable to the activist masses! Ballotpedia has an easy way to add a nice picture, your bio, and your views on important issues: Candidate Verification.
Once you’re verified, they may even send you a survey to gauge your governing philosophy and let voters and curious internet denizens get to know you better! With so many local and state level candidates and races, Ballotpedia simply doesn’t have the time to present you and your campaign, but you don’t have to leave the ball in their court.
Ballotpedia made an effort to get more information about candidates for the high-profile statehouse races this fall in New Jersey and Virginia, which was great, but may not continue next year as the number of races is so much greater. It’s better not to wait, just fill this stuff out!