Every election year, The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT) provides citizens of Tennessee with Voter Guides that clearly show where candidates running in both contested and uncontested races for Tennessee House and Tennessee Senate stand on important issues related to life, family, marriage, education, and religious liberty.
Typically, we provide Voter Guides about a month before both the August State Primary Election (August 2) and the November General Election (November 6) to help you make an informed vote. In 2018, we hope to also be covering the gubernatorial races as well.
We do our best to get survey results from all state legislative candidates, but we cannot guarantee that all candidates will fill out our survey; candidates running unopposed in either a Primary or General Election may choose not to provide us with their stances on the issues. And even some candidates running in contested races will choose not to answer our survey.
What You Will See for Contested Races
All those running in contested Primary or General Elections will be emailed or mailed the link to our electronic survey to fill out. You can read more about the process we will go through for contested candidates in “The Surveying Process for Contested Races” section below.
You will see listed “Candidate is running in a contested Primary Election” or “Candidate is running in a contested General Election” as well as any survey answers and/or essay answers on their individual candidate pages.
For those candidates who fill out the survey questions, the response choices will be either “support,” “oppose,” or “undecided” for each of the survey questions. For those who do not fill out the survey or any portion of the survey, responses will be marked “failed to answer.”
Candidates will have the choice of whether they want to answer the essay questions or not. If a candidate does answer the survey portion, essay answers will appear exactly as the candidate entered it; no edits will be made. For those who do not answer the essay portion or any particular essay question, the answer will be marked “chose not to answer” for each question.
Candidate Comparison District Pages
Candidate comparison district pages will show the voter guide responses in side-by-side chart form, with all candidates running for that district clearly represented with a link back to their individual candidate pages.
What You Will See for Uncontested Races
For those candidates running in uncontested races, you will see one of two options listed, either “Candidate is running unopposed in the Primary Election” or “Candidate is running unopposed in the General Election” with survey and/or essay questions answered, or you will see “Candidate is running unopposed in the Primary Election and therefore was not surveyed” or “Candidate is running unopposed in the General Election and therefore was not surveyed” without any survey questions or essay questions answered.
Why this distinction?
Some candidates who may be running unopposed in the General Election might fill out surveys before their contested Primary race and they may win their contested Primary. Since we would already have their answers, we will keep that information up for the General Election. We figure you will still want to know what your candidate stands for even if the candidate is running in an uncontested General race.
Many of those running in uncontested General races may not run in any contested races this election season, so we won’t send them a voter guide survey. In order to be fair to those candidates, we don’t want to fail them for not answering a survey they never received. Instead, we choose to leave their survey section and essay section blank. However, we did still want to represent them on our Voter Guide so that you would know who your candidate is.
Candidate Comparison District Pages
For candidates running in uncontested races, the candidate comparison district page will note “There is no candidate comparison for this district because candidate is running unopposed in the Primary Election” or “There is no candidate comparison for this district because candidate is running unopposed in the General Election” and a link is provided back to the individual candidate page.
How Will Winners in Elections Be Noted?
Once we have the initial results of either the Primary Election or the General Election, we will display the winners on an election results page. Then we will update the Find a Candidate alphabetical listing by noting “winner” next to candidates who won and notate winners on individual candidate pages. We will also notate winners on the candidate comparison district pages in green.
The Surveying Process for Contested Races
All state House and state Senate candidates running in contested races will be emailed or mailed a link to our online candidate voter guide form.
The candidate voter guide form will contain survey questions and additional (optional) in-depth essay questions about important issues.
Candidates running in contested races provide their answers online and their answers populate the candidate webpage form without risk of us rekeying answers from paper survey answers erroneously.
Will All Candidates in Contested Races Be Given the Chance to Answer the Voter Guide Survey?
Some candidates running in contested races may not answer the survey. In case you erroneously hear from a candidate that we did not send them a survey, here is how our surveys will be handled:
Every candidate running in a contested race on the TNVoterGuide.org website will get either multiple emails or multiple pieces of written correspondence asking them to complete the survey and providing them the deadline.
Candidates Running in Contested Races Who Have Email Addresses
A search will be made of all contested candidate’s public information for an email address. In those instances in which no public email is found on their website or Facebook page, the candidate’s office will be contacted and an email address requested.
Each candidate will be sent several emails making clear the deadline.
Candidates Running in Contested Races Who Do Not Have Email Addresses
If we are unable to contact the contested candidate’s office for an email address or there is no email address, we will mail the candidate a survey based on the address provided in the petition they filed with the Secretary of State. We will mail them twice and have delivery receipts for the mailing.
Need More Information About U.S. Candidates?
If you are looking for information about candidates representing Tennessee who are running for U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives, check out FRC Action’s Congressional Scorecard, or if you want information about candidates representing Tennessee who are running for U.S. House or information about the candidates running for U.S. President, please visit ivoterguide.com.
Does TNVoterGuide.org Cover Other Races?
We do not currently cover local races for judges, County Commissioner, Mayor, Alderman, school board, etc.
If you have any further questions about our Voter Guides, please visit the Get Help section.