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Claremont McKenna College Produces Video Voter Guide for California Election

Just in time for election season, the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College has debuted the student-produced Video Voter Guide, a nonpartisan resource for voters in the Golden State to research the propositions on their 2022 California ballots.

While Election Day is Nov. 8, many California voters are already busily preparing their ballots to either vote-by-mail or drop off in election boxes throughout the state. Fortunately, the Video Voter Guide is a useful resource, providing thoroughly researched, easy-to-understand explanations of the often-complex measures.

Rose Institute students have produced a Video Voter Guide each election cycle since 2012, and the process presents a valuable learning opportunity.

“Students gain a thorough understanding of the policy issue covered by each measure, as well as practical skills in distilling a complex topic to its essentials and presenting it in an accessible way,” said CMC Professor Ken Miller, director of the Rose Institute.

In addition, Miller points out, the fact that these explainers are created by a team of nine college students, offers a youthful perspective that also sets them apart from other voter guides, “which are produced by government officials, journalists, or interest group and campaign professionals,” he said.

Intended to “help voters cut through the often-distorted messages presented in paid political ads,” Miller noted that “like campaign ads, the videos are accessible; unlike campaign ads, they’re objective.”

Marshall Bessey ’23, the Voter Guide’s project manager explained, “In two to three minutes, we cover each measure’s background, proposed policy changes, fiscal impact, arguments for and against, key supporters and opponents, and the consequences of a yes or no vote.”

And this year, Bessey added, to increase engagement among younger voters — many of whom are casting ballots for their first time— the Rose team also produced Instagram and TikTok versions.

Sharing the videos through Instagram and TikTok “should help ensure that our products appeal to the widest range of Californians possible,” Bessey said. “I think it contributes to the Video Voter Guide’s innovative nature. When Rose Institute students started this project in 2012, they hoped it would help voters of all ages, especially youth voters, make more informed decisions about ballot measures.”

View the Video Voter Guide here, on YouTube, or by following @rose_institute on Instagram and @roseinstitute on TikTok.


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