It seems that there is a recent emphasis on "character" in the election. Unfortunately, character can be faked with some acting and campaign management. To understand how the candidates will perform in office we need to look at their past accomplishments and failures. Public records show the vote history for the candidates and all it takes is a little bit of research to see how the candidates have voted.
But people aren't interested in looking at data; they are more interested in how much candidates spend on their haircut or who looks more "confident." I imagine that before radio or television existed and the only news source was the newspaper, candidates would have stood on their issues alone. The vast majority of the population would not have seen the candidates in person and would have to have focused on the issues each candidate presented. Maybe it's time we go back to those days with a ballot only containing issues.
In addition, why not throw in an intelligence test geared towards the issues and use the score to weigh the vote. If companies can use intelligence in their hiring decisions, why can't the government use it in the voting process? The impact of a wrong decision is much greater.