Where Do I Find Information?

Resources

Voter and Election Information

Vote411.org
Election Information You Need
Enter your address to find your polling place, build your ballot with our online voters’ guide and much more! In most areas, nonpartisan information on the candidates that will appear on the ballot is uploaded a few weeks prior to each election. With the voters’ guide you can see the races on your ballot, compare candidates’ positions side-by-side, and print out a "ballot" indicating your preferences and take it with you to the polls on Election Day as a reminder.
http://www.vote411.org/


VoteTexas.gov
The Texas Secretary of State has oversite responsibility for elections and election rules and responsibilities. It is a good resource for questions about election and voter procedures and rules and is also a place for voters to check their registration status.
www.VoteTexas.gov


Ballotpedia: Encyclopedia of American Politics and Elections
Ballotpedia is a nonpartisan online political encyclopedia that covers American federal, state, and local politics, elections, and public policy.
https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page


Open Secrets.org
Politicians & Elections
A comprehensive resource for federal campaign contributions, lobbying data and analysis. Politicians need votes, certainly, to win election and re-election, but they also need money. So where is all this money coming from? Who’s giving it? Who’s getting it?
http://www.opensecrets.org/elections/index.php


News Media
Print news organizations, such as The New York Times in both hard copy and online versions, offer several types of information useful to voters

  • In depth reports and articles on issues
  • Editorials which express the organization’s opinion of candidates and issues
  • Voter guides with unbiased, objective information on candidates and issues.

County Elections Departments
In Texas, election operations are the responsibility of the county government. Consequently, county websites are sources of wide ranging information for voters including what will be on the ballot, where polling places are located and when they will be open. People can also check their voter registration status through the county and can usually find who their elected officials are.


Candidate Campaign and Political Party Websites
Candidate and political party sites provide useful information for voters. Search for state and local representatives by name or search party websites for lists of elected officials and scheduled events.


Evaluating Judicial Candidates
Some legal professional organizations evaluate judges and judicial candidates, for example:

 

Media Literacy

How to Spot Fake News
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. IFLA has made this infographic with eight simple steps (based on FactCheck.org’s 2016 article “How to Spot Fake News”)  to discover the verifiability of a given news-piece in front of you.
https://www.ifla.org/publications/node/11174


The Guardian
Social Media
Philip Howard and Bence Kollanyi
Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter have begun to share evidence of how their platforms are used and abused during elections. They have developed interesting new initiatives to encourage civil debate on public policy issues and voter turnout on election day.
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/sep/30/social-media-companies-fake-news-us-election


NPR, All Things Considered
Kelly McEvers, Host, interviews Laura Sydell and John Jansen
November 23, 2016
Downloadable podcast and transcript of “We Tracked Down A Fake-News Creator In The Suburbs. Here’s What We Learned.”
https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/11/23/503146770/npr-finds-the-head-of-a-covert-fake-news-operation-in-the-suburbs


How to Spot Fake News
Tips and a few basic questions to consider whenever you encounter a piece of media.
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/how-to-spot-fake-news-and-teach-kids-to-be-media-savvy


Discourse or Disinformation
Project Look Sharp
A media literacy initiative of Ithaca College that develops and provides lesson plans, media materials, training, and support for the effective integration of media literacy with critical thinking into classroom curricula at all education levels, including integration with the new common core standards (Note: Free account to download materials requires registration.)
https://www.projectlooksharp.org/


“How Fake News Works: Tens of Millions of Americans Would Flunk Any Basic Civics Class”
Moyers & company
David Masciotra
November 8, 2017
Russian fake news infiltrated our social-media feeds, and our own willful ignorance is to blame.
http://billmoyers.com/story/fake-news-works-tens-millions-americans-flunk-basic-civics-class/


How to spot a misleading graph
TedEd
Lea Gaslowitz
July 6, 2017
When they’re used well, graphs can help us intuitively grasp complex data. But as visual software has enabled more usage of graphs throughout all media, it has also made them easier to use in a careless or dishonest way — and as it turns out, there are plenty of ways graphs can mislead and outright manipulate. Includes link to full lesson.
https://youtu.be/E91bGT9BjYk


“The Fake News Culprit No One Wants to Identify: You”
Wired Magazine
Miranda Katz
December 6, 2017
An opinion piece on the people’s unwillingness to take responsibility in controlling fake news on the Internet.
https://www.wired.com/story/fake-news-social-media-danah-boyd/


How polls are targeting youth: Go 360 and Snapchat
CNBC
Michelle Castillo
August 5, 2015
Politicians experimented with emerging technology and social media in the 2016 election campaigns, creating content unlike anything seen in previous election cycles. How did this change campaign strategies? Were the strategies effective?
https://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/05/how-pols-are-targeting-the-youth-vote-go-360-and-snapchat-like-mad.html