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Election 2020: Informed Voting

This guide provides information on the upcoming 2020 Election and highlights reliable and vetted sources for informed voting.

Election 2020 Information

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ELECTION DAY IS NOVEMBER 3, 2020

"The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democracy." -  Rep. John Lewis

WHAT ARE MY VOTING RIGHTS? Election Protection from Vote.org

****Witness or Experience Voter Suppression? Call 866-OUR-VOTE******

WHEN DO I NEED TO REGISTER TO VOTE? Check registration deadlines for all states

AM I REGISTERED TO VOTE?    Check your Voter Registration Status

HOW DO I REGISTER TO VOTE?   Register to Vote   (39 states allow for online voter registration)

 

Check the Source. Confirm the Facts

It is important for all voters to be informed voters.  The spread of misinformation, disinformation and propaganda can be a threat to the voting process. It is vital that voters learn how to sort the factual information from the misinformation. Use the links and tools in this guide to find, and most importantly, verify information related to the election. Election related information is meant to be persuasive and there will always be bias, but emphasizing facts, fact checking and understanding the intent and purpose of that bias will help in becoming a better informed voter.  Learn more about misinformation, disinformation and propaganda here: Evaluating News Sources

Vote Smart (https://justfacts.votesmart.org)

This source is one of the least biased sources and is known to have high factual reporting. Provides consistent, factual information regardless of political party. Provides factual information on politician's which includes: biographies, issue positions, voting records, public statements, ratings and funding. Comments by politicians that have been proven false by reputable fact checking organizations are marked by a Bull icon.

Open Secrets (https://www.opensecrets.org)

Open Secrets is from the Center for Responsive Politics and is rated as a least biased source with very high factual reporting. This is a source used by fact checkers and fact checking sites with highly factual and well sourced reporting. Focusing on the funding of and by politicians the resource provides information on federal campaign contributions, lobbying data and analysis. 

PolitiFact (https://www.politifact.com/)

This website is a less biased website with high factual reporting. It is known for it's Truth-O-Meter ratings system that ranges from true to "pants on fire". The fact checking can be browsed by issue, individual and rating among others. There is a special section of coverage for Election 2020.

FactCheck 2020 Election (https://www.factcheck.org)

This site monitors 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. There is evidence of high factual reporting and provides these facts with the least amount of bias.

Electionland (https://www.propublica.org/electionland/)

Electionland is a coalition of newsrooms around the country that are covering misinformation, cybersecurity, and problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. This website, which has a left-center bias with high factual reporting, focuses on voting impediments such as long lines, harassment at the polls, misinformation about voting, registration purges, changed voting locations, provisional ballot use, voter ID issues, ballot design problems and vote disruption caused by hacking

Reverse Image Search

Reverse Image Searching

A quick an easy way to validate information is to research the images that accompany it. An out of context or faked/photo-shopped image will immediately indicate that the information could be misleading or false.  Reverse image searching is also useful in tracking where an image or story originated in order to better understand the information and intent. Use these sites to verify all images to determine they have not been faked or manipulated or taken out of context.

Additional Resources and Tools

Types of Information

It is vital to understand the types of misinformation and disinformation that exist in order to understand and combat them. Manipulated, false and deceitful information is pervasive, especially on social media. Satire can be difficult to determine at first glance. Information is often misleading and misinterpreted due to a lack or loss of context. The misinformation matrix below will help you determine the characteristics of these different types. Propaganda is especially dangerous in influencing voters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://firstdraftnews.org/latest/fake-news-complicated/

Videos

Voter Information

Library News Resources

Before you Share

BEFORE YOU SHARE

A bit about CLICKBAIT. Every time a story is clicked on, money is made. It doesn't matter if it is accurate or authoritative- YOU must determine those qualities before you share or click.

EMOTION: What emoji does it make you want to use? Misinformation, disinformation and propaganda are all designed specifically to elicit a strong emotional response. Check your confirmation bias, approach with informed skepticism.

Video: Emotional Skepticism

VERIFY: Are there links to other sources to back up the facts? Does the information appear on other news sites? Can you find the original source of a story or image shared widely on social media? Can it be verified by fact checking websites?

AUTHORS: Google the author. What else have they the written? Find information to determine authority.

SOURCE: Check the URL. What is the source's intent?  Links to other sources? Reverse Google search images that accompany the article. Verify embedded videos and tweets.

 

Reference and Instruction Librarian

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Katie Anderson
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