My Favorite Things: Political Fact-Checking Websites

Source: "Academic fact fight - debate" by Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig on Flickr.com

Source: “Academic fact fight – debate” by Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig on Flickr.com

With just over a year until the 2016 presidential elections, we have a broad field of candidates and many debates in our near future. But when you hear the claims and counter-claims the candidates are making, how do you decide what to believe?

Luckily, there are increasing numbers of political fact-checking websites, non-partisan political watchdog organizations that research the veracity of what politicians say. Here are some sites that you can visit if you have a question about any of the arguments you hear:

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 9.28.06 PM The League of Women Voters is a great place to start. Often, candidates will make claims about other candidate’s positions. The LWV is a citizen-run organization that provides voter information, so it is a great place to see what candidates say about their own positions on various topics. Also, it has the broadest coverage of all the sites mentioned here.
Factcheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. It describes itself as being a “nonpartisan, nonprofit ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.” It follows and critiques TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 8.38.55 PM
Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 9.22.08 PM From The Center for Responsive Politics, an organization originally founded by a bipartisan group of Senators who were worried about the impact of money on politics, Opensecrets.org advocates for transparency in government through exposing political contributions. It tracks and analyzes federal campaign contributions and lobbying activities.
Politifact.com, by the researchers and reporters of the Tampa Bay Times, keeps an eye on promises made by President Obama, congressional Republicans, and governors and mayors around the country. They use Truth-O-Meters and Flip-O-Meters to rate the quality of arguments politicians make and how they vacillate on issues. Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 8.29.45 PM
Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 3.11.00 PM ProPublica.org is an independent newsroom that covers a wide variety of topics. This non-profit organization “produces investigative journalism in the public interest,” including coverage related to elections and political campaigns.
Ever wonder who runs our elections? Learn more about how our voting system works, what your district is, what ballot measures are up-and-coming, and more at the California Secretary of State’s Election Division. Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.58.12 PM

 

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