A fat husband was on the bathroom scales and was sucking in his stomach. His wife walked in and said: "That is not going to make you weigh less". He exclaimed: "I know that! I was just trying to see the numbers on the scales."
An informed voter needs to read the scales of each candidate's platform and record. Some candidates are a lot of "fluff". One Senatorial candidate talks about that she is against defunding the police. But if you stop and think, a U.S. Senator has nothing to do with fundings for the police which is a local and not national issue. Another candidate relies on negativity for their campaign against his opponent. Some political analysts feel that negativity might motivate the base but it alienates the undecided voter. As an informed voter, I want to know what the candidate will do to make things better. A candidate's transparency about his past is important or it breeds distrust and dishonesty.
Many candidates have a very "likeable" personality but lack the knowledge on issues. Communication and interpersonal skills are important as the candidate needs to get along with other people such as in Congress to get things done. But likeability should not sway them on decisions which are not in the best interest of the people that they represent.
Newspaper endorsements or straw polls should be researched and not taken at face value. The Citrus County Chronicle had excellent endorsement commentary on the candidates. Some people will agree with the endorsement while others will distrust them. Research each candidate and don't conclude in haste. The "winner" in a straw poll is questionable as people have strong views and a single polling question rarely captures those views well.
Today we have been fed a warped sense of the news through social media, decline in local news coverage, confusing polls, and online sites. These stumbling blocks have hindered our weighted responsibility to determine the truth about the candidates. Ronald Reagan said we must "trust but verify". Verify what sounds right in your gut. How we vote has a significant impact on political outcomes that affect many more people than just ourselves. Read as much as you can about each candidate and talk with others. Staying informed is still a critical voluntary responsibility prior to voting.