Saturday 03 December 2016

Friday Five: Online Resources for the 2012 Election

Why it Matters by Charlotte Runco

With the election just around the corner, and some of you still undecided on whom to vote for, what can you be doing to ensure you’re making the right choice for the next President of the United States? Sure, it’s easy to tune into your partisan news source of choice—from FOX News to CNN to political satire programs like The Daily Show. But in this crucial last week before the election, whether your mind is made up or not, take it upon yourself to do your research and become not just a voter but a smart voter.

Have questions about Governor Romney’s tax plan or President Obama’s unemployment plan?  Let’s take a look at five online resources for fact-checking and election news leading up to Election Day.*

1. Politifact

Recipient of a 2009 Pulitzer Prize, Politifact is a political fact checking website that live fact-checked during the recent presidential debates and continues to post to its Twitter feed and website on a daily basis, ranking candidate’s statements with a “Truth-o-Meter.” You can also download its mobile app Settle It! for fact checking on-the-go.

2. Fact Checker

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker grades the accuracy of statements made by each candidate with one to four “Pinocchios.” Launched for the 2008 election, it was relaunched in January 2011 by veteran Post reporter Glenn Kessler.

3. FactCheck.org

A project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, FactCheck.org is a nonprofit consumer resource for voters that aims to reduce false claims made in U.S. politics by monitoring the factual accuracy of what is said by the candidates in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.

4. YouTube Politics

Not a fact checker per se, but YouTube Politics is a good resource for TV clips spanning the election season. The Elections Hub gives you access to debate clips, campaign ads, news analysis and viral videos from news outlets like ABC News, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

5. On The Issues

Finally, what better resource than one from your Edelman D.C. colleagues? “On The Issues” is a microsite that gives a comprehensive review of each candidate’s stance on key issues ranging from social security to technology.

And just for fun, download this app from Epic Games and Rock the Vote, which invites players to assume the role of either President Obama or Governor Romney in a slapstick battle for the White House. (Okay, I know this was #6…)

Bottom line: Be educated and don’t fall victim to the flurry of opinions from talking heads and friends alike that aren’t always grounded in fact. It’s just as important to know the facts surrounding President Obama and Governor Romney’s positions as it is to show up on Election Day to fill out your ballot. Moreover, given the resources at our fingertips on a daily basis (five listed above), there’s no need to be a lazy voter

Now get to fact checking and vote, vote, vote! Have another source you go to for your news? I’d love to hear them.

*Please note, these resources are not always correct or unbiased and should not be considered your sole news resources on Election 2012. They were identified based on general notability and are often helpful in identifying facts and dispelling myths.  Have another source you go to for your news? I’d love to hear them.

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