How to Fact-Check with Votesmart.org
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 VoteSmart.org, 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.
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!
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!
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!
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.