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Election 2020

Voting is Important

Voting is immensely important. Why? Four reasons: 

  • It's your right! Many people have been denied or do not have the opportunity to vote - don't take it for granted. Voting is a privilege.
  • Your voice is important and your vote matters. Elections can be incredibly close. Your vote could be make the difference. 
  • Tell your government what issues matter to you. If you don't vote, you don't get the opportunity to voice what issues are important to you. 
  • You are helping your community. When you vote, especially in local elections, it decides who represents your community. 

How do I research a candidate?

Deciding who to vote for can be confusing! Follow these tips to research a candidate:

  1. Go to the candidate's website to explore where they stand on important issues. 
  2. If the candidate is an incumbent, look up their voting record or policies passed in previous years. 
  3. Find and watch debates or press conferences.
  4. Go to Factcheck.org to see how accurate candidates' answers on issues are. 
  5. Explore the candidate's background and experience. Do you think this person has the skills to perform well in this role?
  6. Research how others view the candidate. Have they been endorsed? Have they made or received any significant campaign contributions?
  7. Lastly, create your own "Candidate Report Card." 
    1. What are your priority issues?
    2. Rank the candidates based on how they stand on your issues. 
    3. List the leadership qualities you want in a candidate and measure your candidates.

Keep in mind that you can encounter biased information when you are researching. Always be sure to use the following infographic in the next box to fact check the information you are consuming. 

Pause. Consider. Decide.

Three head silhouettes with pause symbol, question mark, and checkmark and x in each.

Though information- and misinformation- comes at us all day, everyday, there are concrete steps that you can take to build your expert toolkit, and know what to trust.

Cultivate a critical mindset about user-generated content, unfamiliar organizations, and content shared by recognized news sources, by practicing and developing the habits outlined in the News Literacy Project's 7 Steps.

How can you reconstruct the context of an online information source in order to make a solid judgment about it's reliability? the SIFT framework by Mike Caulfield offers simple and empowering guidance.

Dig in to the reliability of the sources quoted or embedded within news stories themselves using the IMVAIN framework, developed by Stony Brook Center for News Literacy.