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Selecting Candidates Who Match What Matters to You



In the video above, Kim Moffat, founder of the bipartisan group "We the People", urges everyone to vote, saying "Your vote is your voice."


Tuning out the political noise can be tough, but a new website aims to help first time and undecided voters discover candidates that align with their values. VotingBuddy.com launched last week and has already drawn voters from 49 states, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

VotingBuddy.com users answer five questions on foreign policy, immigration, national security, social policy, government oversight and fiscal policy, and also enter a zip code. Then Voting Buddy identifies like-minded candidates in their voting districts. The Voting Buddy database has candidates from all political parties coast to coast.

The objective is for voters to be better informed and not cast a ballot blindly. Voting Buddy outlines general differences between conservative and progressive/liberal ideologies and identifies every incumbent and candidate for every House and Senate seat based upon a user’s zip code, as well as percentages showing how the candidate’s views align with the voter.

With the midterm elections only days away, Voting Buddy is helping voters. “Voting Buddy helps match me with politicians who will support my beliefs and values in my community,” said Jeannie Franklin, a school administrator in Maryland. “This is exactly the kind of tool people need to feel confident about their political choices before voting”

Voting Buddy was created by Dr. Dwight Williams, Ph.D., P.E., a former Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Williams developed Voting Buddy over the summer of 2022 while on extensive bed rest after surgery for cancer. Dr. Williams was appointed to both the Department of Political Science and the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering while he was on campus at MIT. He now serves as a Research Affiliate for MIT.

High school and college students served on Voting Buddy’s leadership team and as analysts. They developed candidate estimates for the Voting Buddy database; they developed training materials; and they currently manage Voting Buddy’s social media platforms.

Participating high school students are from Montgomery County Public Schools, Prince George’s County Public Schools and St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. College students are from Howard University, Historically Black Colleges & Universities in North Carolina, the University of Maryland, and local community colleges. Student majors include political science, engineering and education.

The Voting Buddy website is currently advertising free. By 2024, organizers hope to give users the opportunity to drill deeper into the topic areas they find of interest and include more local elections. This will need to be resourced – organizers are being careful as they consider possible funding partners so that Voting Buddy can maintain its role as an objective and easy-to-use tool.

You can try Voting Buddy at VotingBuddy.com.

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