Robert Ehlert: Online guide will help you make decisions on Election Day

rehlert@idahostatesman.comSeptember 8, 2013 

Robert Ehlert

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Football season is well underway, baseball season is headed for its climax, and another season full of races is just about to begin.

Election season.

Friday was the deadline for candidates running in the municipal elections Nov. 5 to file paperwork with their city offices.

The city of Boise will decide Tuesday whether it will put two municipal bonds on that Nov. 5 ballot.

Since early voting starts Oct. 15, the Statesman is making plans and preparations for our digital voting guide, a popular resource for readers that will undergo enhancements this year. It will be a collaboration between the Statesman newsroom and opinions staffs.

By week’s end, we will have sent out questionnaires for all the candidates running in city elections in Ada and Canyon counties.

The candidates in Boise, Eagle, Garden City, Kuna, Meridian, Star, Caldwell, Middleton and Nampa will be asked to supply information on their backgrounds and issues so you will have a resource available when it comes time to cast your vote.

Nampa and Meridian municipal elections will be livelier than normal this year because both cities expanded their city councils from four to six members.

Though the elections will be covered in print, online and blog reports as well, the voter guide will be an effort for one-stop-shopping when it comes to researching candidates and issues for Nov. 5.

When the guide is ready, it will be prominently linked to IdahoStatesman.com.

We like the digital platform for our voting guide because it provides the most convenient and comprehensive avenues to provide you with the information you need. Our election coverage will appear in print and on all other platforms.

We will reduce the number of candidates we endorse. Not everybody votes on Election Day, and endorsements have far less relevancy with the increased participation of early voting.

This change in voting habits makes it difficult to release endorsements on a timely basis. However, we reserve the right to endorse in selected races.

That said, reporting and writing opinions on the issues will be our No. 1 goal. We will strive to make you the most informed electorate possible.

Robert Ehlert is the Statesman’s editorial page editor. Contact him at 377-6219, or on Twitter @IDS_HelloIdaho.

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