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How to Fact-Check with
Oct. 31, 2017, 4:32 p.m.

It’s time to stop looking at our time as the era of “fake news” and start looking at it as the era of “fact-checking.” It can be difficult to distinguish fact from fiction in the digital age, so it is our responsibility to not always take headlines and viral memes at face value. We at Vote Smart want to help arm you with the tools and resources to do this.

Misinformation online is abundant. Oxford University found that in 2016 “Twitter users got more misinformation, polarizing and conspiratorial content than professionally produced news.” That means that more people read manipulation and falsehoods than facts.

Sensationalized, misleading, or simply false headlines flooded our news feeds in 2016 and 2017, and Vote Smart is here to help you weed out the garbage. By browsing our database of public statements, key votes, and more, you can see if a published claim is truth or trash. We also provide you with the ability to fact-check politicians to see if they have followed up their words with action.

Political Research Wrap-Up: Republicans win five of the seven races in June, Trump talks foreign policy.
July 10, 2017, 7:21 p.m.

 Republicans win five of the seven races in June, seats remain virtually unchanged. President Trump talks foreign policy.

Is it a Muslim Ban?
June 27, 2017, 9:37 p.m.

Many voters don’t like to read–I’ve probably lost those voters already. Politicians use titles and labels to steer the conversation in whatever direction they choose–think Trumpcare vs. Better Care Reconciliation Act. This was no different with the President’s “Travel Ban.” Because many are unlikely to read the executive order, the labels and titles attached to it have a lot of influence into its perceived impact. Is it a Muslim Ban? A Travel Ban? Or extreme vetting?

After several roadblocks, the Supreme Court has, by a unanimous decision, allowed part of the “Travel Ban” (formally titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States) to go into effect. Since its inception, this executive order has received criticism for its restrictions that would limit entry from certain predominantly Muslim nations to the US.

Catch Up on the James Comey Controversy Before Today’s Hearing
June 8, 2017, 1:51 p.m.

On May 9, FBI Director James Comey was let go from his position by President Donald Trump–leaving many to wonder what incidents led to such a serious end.


Political Research Wrap Up: Comey, Healthcare, and Foreign Policy in Under 140 Characters
June 2, 2017, 8:19 p.m.

 James Comey, health care, and foreign policy in under 140 characters. Read on to find out what has kept Congress and President Trump's Twitter account so busy.


Pros and Cons of Common Renewable Energies
Nov. 2, 2016, 6:29 p.m.

Renewable energy has grown increasingly popular as evidence of human-caused global climate change accumulates. Solar, hydroelectric, and wind energies make up a large majority of the renewable energy sector, and are seen by some as preferable alternatives to fossil fuel and nuclear energies.

Women Warriors
Oct. 26, 2016, 3 p.m.

 Even in the earliest years of the United States, women have been filling vital roles to support United States military operations.

The Clean Power Plan: Economic or Environmental?
Oct. 14, 2016, 2:17 p.m.

 On August 3, 2015, President Barack Obama introduced the highly controversial Clean Power Plan (CPP) as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attempt to combat climate change.

Presidential Pardons in 2016
Oct. 5, 2016, 6 p.m.

 On Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016, President Obama granted clemency, forgiveness of a sentence, to 214 incarcerated individuals, 67 of which were serving life sentences in federal penitentiaries. This raises some questions about what clemency actually entails. Clemency, under the US Constitution, allows the President to grant pardons and commutations to federal prisoners.

Legislative Activities: Renewable Energy Sources
Aug. 26, 2016, 3:52 p.m.

Use of renewable energy sources is definitely a contentious issue in some states, with some passing legislation, and other states’ governors taking things into their own hands and signing agreements having to do with energy.

To Fly or Not to Fly: Current Legislation on Gun Sales
Aug. 16, 2016, 3:01 p.m.

 One of the most contentious issues in 2016 has been the question of gun control.

Where Does the Death Penalty Stand in 2016?
Aug. 12, 2016, 3:36 p.m.

The death penalty has been a hotly debated topic for centuries, but just recently in 2016, it has for the first time in history become part of an official party platform - that of the Democratic Party, who supports abolishing it.

Voting Rights for Convicted Felons
July 22, 2016, 2:46 p.m.

2016 has seen several state legislators propose changes in the regulation of voting rights for individuals with felonies, and the timeframe for felons to receive the right to vote.

Marijuana, States and Presidential Nominees
July 20, 2016, 2:31 p.m.

The legislative year of 2016 has seen a multitude of bills passed that authorizes the use of marijuana in many states.

The Native American Energy Act: Economic Prosperity or Traditional Tribal Values?
July 13, 2016, 2:21 p.m.

 The state of American Indian land sovereignty, health, and welfare becomes more and more complex as the demand for American energy independence grows.........

To require voter ID or not require ID? A Heated Question
June 15, 2016, 5:23 p.m.

 Has your state recently passed a Voter ID law? Want to know what the arguments for/ against this legislation are? Read our non-partisan breakdown of this heated political issue: 

Getting to the Core of Common Core
June 1, 2016, 2:11 p.m.

Heard of Common Core, but not sure what it is? Curious about how states receive federal funding for education? Below, we break down this hot-button issue, and provide the 2016 presidential candidates’ stances towards Common Core......

The Balancing Act of Determining Discrimination
May 17, 2016, 4:21 p.m.

Multiple “religious freedom” bills are currently capturing the attention of state legislatures across the country. “Religious freedom” bills are proposed legislation that call for religious organizations, businesses, and individuals to be protected from penalties for declining to provide services to individuals whose lifestyle conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs.


August Common Ground E-Newsletter
Aug. 19, 2015, 3:11 p.m.

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May Common Ground E-Newsletter
May 7, 2015, 5:46 p.m.

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February Common Ground E-Newsletter
Feb. 13, 2015, 7:27 p.m.

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January Common Ground E-Newsletter
Jan. 23, 2015, 5:56 p.m.

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VoteEasy and PCT Results Released in New Mexico
Oct. 27, 2014, 4:12 p.m.

Today, Vote Smart released the results of the National Political Courage Test to VoteEasy at, giving New Mexico voters an invaluable resource for identifying their best political match November 4th. Four of the congressional, state legislative and gubernatorial candidates passed the 2014 Political Courage Test. 

September Common Ground E-Newsletter
Sept. 26, 2014, 7:52 p.m.

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August Common Ground E-Newsletter
Aug. 20, 2014, 9:32 p.m.

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Volunteer at the Great Divide Ranch!
June 24, 2014, 10 p.m.

If you are a member and have ever thought of volunteering at Vote Smart and haven't done it yet, or if you want to return for another tour of duty, 2014 would be a great year to come volunteer at the ranch! 

June Common Ground E-Newsletter
June 12, 2014, 10:09 p.m.

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February Common Ground E-Newsletter
March 7, 2014, 3:42 p.m.

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January Common Ground E-Newsletter
Feb. 6, 2014, 6:31 p.m.

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November Common Ground E-Newsletter
Nov. 27, 2013, 7 a.m.

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September Common Ground E-Newsletter
Oct. 10, 2013, 3:16 p.m.

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August Common Ground E-Newsletter
Aug. 9, 2013, 6:10 a.m.

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June Common Ground E-Newsletter
June 30, 2013, 6:08 p.m.

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April Common Ground E-Newsletter
April 26, 2013, 6:25 p.m.

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But There's More. . .
Dec. 22, 2012, 2:43 a.m.

There's still time to make your 2013 Membership contribution before the Dec. 31st tax deadline!  

December Common Ground E-Newsletter
Dec. 14, 2012, 10:33 p.m.

Click here to sign up for our monthly Common Ground E-Newsletter...

VoteEasy Tool Launched in New Mexico
Sept. 5, 2012, 9:36 p.m.

July Common Ground E-Newsletter
July 13, 2012, 2:32 p.m.

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June Common Ground E-Newsletter
June 12, 2012, 6:53 p.m.

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A Volunteer Experience like No Other
May 1, 2012, 4:14 p.m.

Summer is almost here and as always, we could sure use help from those Vote Smart members who are looking to pair a vacation with good works. Whether you have watched our introduction video or visited us in the past, you should know that our research headquarters are uniquely nestled in the high peaks, lakes and streams of the Continental Divide, at the Great Divide Ranch in southwestern Montana. You have to see it to believe it! 

April Common Ground E-Newsletter
April 24, 2012, 2:45 p.m.

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March Common Ground E-Newsletter
March 15, 2012, 8:05 p.m.

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Going for broke: could GOP convention elect nominee?
March 5, 2012, 7:54 p.m.

What if, following Super Tuesday, all four GOP candidates are still in the game and no clear frontrunner has emerged? 

Common Ground E-Newsletter, February
Feb. 7, 2012, 4:38 p.m.

GOP field narrowing, but are candidates really gone?
Jan. 20, 2012, 5:49 p.m.

The South Carolina Republican Presidential Preference Primary is scheduled for Saturday, January, 21st and while in most of our minds there are only four candidates still vying for the GOP nomination, one look at the ballot will tell a slightly different story. 


Impeachment of Judge Porteous
Dec. 18, 2010, 12:48 a.m.


The Open Government Directive
Dec. 15, 2009, 1:26 a.m.

Same-Sex Unions 2009-- Follow-Up
Nov. 6, 2009, 6:49 a.m.

Results of the 2009 General Election
Nov. 5, 2009, 6:59 a.m.

Review Of 2009 Ballot Measures: Veterans
Oct. 31, 2009, 4:32 a.m.

Same-Sex Unions in 2009
Oct. 29, 2009, 10:30 p.m.

813 Days With Project Vote Smart
Sept. 2, 2009, 12:22 a.m.

A Day In The Life
Aug. 12, 2009, 10:14 p.m.

Project Vote Smart Photos
July 21, 2009, 4:58 a.m.

New PVS Alumni Listserv
Feb. 12, 2009, 11:05 p.m.


Past, Present, and Future
July 8, 2008, 5:03 a.m.

Precious Moments
April 23, 2008, 11:37 p.m.

Precious Moments
April 10, 2008, 3:57 a.m.

Precious Moments
Feb. 22, 2008, 4 a.m.

On the Road Again!!!
Jan. 9, 2008, 4:38 a.m.


Precious Moments
Sept. 7, 2007, 10:08 p.m.

We Need Geeks
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:19 p.m.

Precious Moments
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:18 p.m.

Precious Moments
Aug. 16, 2007, 11:56 p.m.

Final Indonesian Update
Aug. 14, 2007, 8:50 p.m.

Indonesian update #4
Aug. 10, 2007, 11:13 p.m.

Indonesian Update #3
Aug. 9, 2007, 10 p.m.

Indonesian Update #2
Aug. 7, 2007, 8:47 p.m.

Indonesian Update #1
Aug. 7, 2007, 2:26 a.m.

Project Vote Smart in Indonesia
Aug. 6, 2007, 8:20 p.m.

The 2007 PVS Olympics
July 20, 2007, 4:24 a.m.

Student Intern Appreciation
July 16, 2007, 11:34 p.m.

Summer at the Great Divide
July 12, 2007, 9:52 p.m.

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