Rule#1 - Ignore Political Advertising
Like most commercial product advertising, most political advertising is not designed to be informative. Instead most of these commercials make subtle emotional appeals regarding matters which are often not very important. The messages are particularly aimed at voters who do not understand the issues.
Rule#2 - Review the ballot before you vote
All registered voters are sent sample ballots prior to the election. Don't be caught by surprise while you are in the polling booth! Review these materials before election day.
Rule#3 - You don't have to fill out the full ballot
Don't vote on candidates or ballot propositions which you have no knowledge about. Think about it. If you do this, your vote might cancel out the vote of someone who really did study the matter. For example, most elections ask voters to make decisions about judges or about the membership of local public boards that are virtually never in the news. Unless you have taken steps to inform yourself about these races, simply don't vote on them. Don't cast a vote just because a name sounds familiar.
Rule #4 - Rely on trusted sources if you don't have time to study a candidate or issue
Many of us are too busy to fully study the candidates and the propositions. Many voters overcome this problem by relying on friends and associates in their community that share their overall values and who do follow political issues closely. Most of us know such people and most are more than willing to provide recommendations.