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How to vote like KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross

A poster for a youth march is pasted to the side of a King County ballot drop box, closed until ballots are mailed about three weeks before the election, on a Seattle street Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

I will vote for the people I want to represent me and who I think have a chance of winning. I will not cast symbolic votes or protest votes. I will check the whole ballot, front and back, and vote in every race because any race I leave blank is surrendering power to someone else.

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Here’s how my wife and I go about choosing: A day or two before the deadline, we sit in the dining room at the big table and read the voter’s pamphlet together. When we know a candidate, the choice is easy. When we don’t, we read all the statements and focus on the candidate’s education, background, and experience — rather than any promises.

If the statements are thin, we Google the candidate.

If we received a flyer accusing a candidate of some misstep, we Google news articles. If the flyer turns out to be inaccurate, it could push us to vote for the other candidate, unless their flyer was worse.

If an incumbent has done a good job, we tend to reward that — rather than gamble. My goal is to support serious-sounding (and usually non-charismatic) people who are ready to accept the commitment required.

If it’s a toss-up, we will sometimes agree to split our vote.

The most important step is that we color the ovals very carefully and sign the way we always sign — and provide a phone number if there’s any question. We drive the ballots to the ballot drop and I check the bar code later to make sure they were received.

Even if none of our candidates win, we will still vote in the next election.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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