History
Prior to 2010, our founder, Penny Lancaster, distributed “Penny’s Picks” in an effort to share insights with friends regarding candidates she deemed to be the better choice in contested races. Although it was helpful, the yearly project outgrew one person’s time and ability. Eventually, Penny brought together others who shared the desire to gather information, interview candidates and produce a voter’s guide. Producing an online, quality voter guide continues to be the goal, along with these features:

• non-partisan
• guided by a Biblical worldview
• evaluate all candidates for contested offices on the Spokane and Stevens County ballot
• offer recommendations and evaluations, as well as voter resources

We are hopeful our website, www.WeBelieveWeVote.com will encourage more people to vote, to become engaged in the election process, and even consider running for office.

Organization
Today, We Believe-We Vote is a WA State non-profit corporation of 35+ volunteer Christian citizens and community leaders who represent a variety of denominations and occupations. We are governed by a Board of ten Directors and the policies and procedures in our Bylaws. Our members embrace the WBWV purpose and mission: “Using Biblical and traditional values, We Believe We Vote offers an informed voter guide to the Spokane community, for the primary and general elections.” Our purpose is to have a positive influence on the local elections for the benefit of our community. According to Proverb 29:2, “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules people groan.”

Process
Candidate evaluations begin by developing relevant Survey questions for each type of office designed each year to determine the candidate’s principles, beliefs, and worldview regarding key aspects of society: family, life, economic policy, and the constitutional role of government. Teams of two or more members conduct a personal interview with all candidates for the same office for more consistency and the ability to compare and contrast the reviews. Sometime around July 15, after all the interviews are completed, the members reconvene and discuss the evaluations. A ranking system of 0-5 stars is used to reflect our level of recommendation for each candidate. A page on the website, “Candidate Evaluations,” explains why each candidate received the number of stars assigned by We Believe We Vote. The WBWV position on each question is derived from foundational principles for good government, also posted on the website under “Evaluation Criteria”.

Distribution
The results of the Candidate evaluations are printed on a Voter Recommendation Flier (VR). Currently, this is distributed/promoted in these ways:

• posted on the website at www.WeBelieveWeVote.com
• posted on our Facebook page at “We Believe We Vote Spokane”
• emailed to over 2,000 individuals and church leaders in greater Spokane
• published in community newspapers
• an 8.5X11” color poster, promoting the website, is distributed to churches and businesses
• a 4X8” flier is available for distribution to congregations, forums, and other events
• advertised on Christian and secular radio with a 60-second promo
• Promotional Business cards are widely distributed

Fundraising efforts are focused on promoting our website on social media, news sources, distributing fliers, radio, etc. An effective campaign requires at least $9,000 for the political season.

Conclusion
Researching candidates and making recommendations based on traditional Biblical principles is a worthy goal and a much-needed service to the Spokane community. All of the WBWV members graciously volunteer their effort, personal resources, and approximately 10-15 hours with no expectation of compensation. Work begins in the spring, with the majority of the effort spent June – July 15. We welcome your financial assistance for marketing; any referrals for WBWV membership; any suggestions for improvement; and especially your prayers for our effectiveness.

Thanks for visiting!