Fact Checking Before Voting

There are many biased sources on the Internet that can be misleading for voters, but there are also a variety of great sources to use when fact-checking before the upcoming election. Many times, voters get so wrapped up in political ads they forget that the majority of times these ads are misleading and have no truth.

When you hear an assertion about an issue that is important to you, whether it is about education, taxes or health care, check it out. Do not simply base your vote on “he said she said” or half-truths. The majority of Americans have access to the Internet and there are some great sites without a specific political point of view that can be used to do research on various issues. Two of these sites include FactCheck.org (for an extensive look at facts of a specific issue) and Politifact.com (for a quick assessment of how true a statement is).

Factcheck.org is a project Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Its purpose is to serve as a forum that addresses public policy at the local, state and federal levels without a specific political point of view.

According to Factcheck.org, they “monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.” Their “goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.”

The other fact-checking website is Poltifact.com. This site was spearheaded by the Tampa Bay Times to help voters find the truth in American politics. According to the Politifact.com website, “Reporters and editors from the Times fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists and interest groups and rate them on a Truth-O-Meter.” The Truth-O-Meter is used to rate political statements on their accuracy after they have been researched by staffers of Politifact.

Each day, Politifact staffers look for statements that can be fact-checked. They search through speeches, news stories, press releases, TV ads and even Facebook posts. However, with the many claims that are made they cannot check them all, so they select the most news worthy and significant claims.

The world of politics tends to be biased so before jumping on a “band-wagon,” do not be afraid to educate yourself on the issues that are important to you. You may be surprised to find out that you take a different stance on an issue after educating your mind. On Election Day, you will be the only one in the voting booth, so go in armed with facts and know why you are voting for or against an issue.



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