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The minute you go looking for information about U.S. politics online, you’ll hear shrill voices. Finding unbiased opinions or fact-based information is quite difficult these days. But it’s not impossible.
It’s important to be an educated, informed voter when you go into that election booth. And the fight is not just about Clinton vs. Trump or Democrats vs. Republicans. Your ballot will have other choices you need to make, such as Senate members and judges.
We went searching for data or facts, not opinions or ideas. Seeing as we already know some excellent fact-checking sites, here are a few reliable resources to get you just the information you need.
Greenhouse (Chrome, Safari): Who Is Funding That Politician?
Campaign contributors can play a role in how elected representatives make decisions. So when you are reading about any politician, it would help you know where their money comes from. Greenhouse is a simple extension to tell you that without needing to click.
Just hover over a Senator or Representative’s name and a popup will show their total funding amount, as well as which industries donate to their campaign. Small donations are shown as percentages, so you know who has more grass-roots donations.
You can also find more details about the candidate’s funding by clicking the popup. Click the small button next to percentages to see which campaign finance reform bills each member of Congress supports.
Change Politics (Web): Run a Mock Ballot, Talk to Candidates
Do you wish you could find out what your local candidate for the Congress thinks about global warming? Or maybe you’d like to question him or her about their stance on certain taxes? Change Politics is the place you need to go to track the 2016 elections.
It was started by renowned non-partisan group Change.org, to help voters make informed decisions in November. Users can directly pose questions to candidates to get the answers you seek. You’ll usually get answers by volunteers from the candidate’s staff, but that’s still a good step. Just remember that political campaigns are tracking you.
Change Politics also lets you run a mock ballot. Key in your address and you’ll get to see what your ballot is going to look like in November, so you can start making choices right now.
Vote411 (Web): Learn About Your Community’s Candidates
Over the course of their campaign, candidates answer several questions about where they stand on issues. Don’t you wish there was one place to get all that information? Vote411 is where you need to go.
Started by the League of Women Voters, this tool collects information about candidates and sorts them based on your locality. You’ll even be able to compare the thoughts and principles of two candidates. Vote411 also uses information from partner sites to provide information about judges, so you can take a call on those too.
The site also has polling booth practices, tips, and other useful tips for when you go to vote. Importantly, you can print this information, so you can carry it with you to the poll booth. This is the kind of stuff you need and block useless politics from your Facebook.
Ballotpedia (Web): Everything You Need to Know About U.S. Politics
Ballotpedia calls itself the encyclopedia of American politics, and that’s not too far from the truth. Again, you can look up a sample ballot, or check who is currently elected by your community.
What’s more impressive is Ballotpedia’s large collection of non-partisan articles. Everything is written by its professional staff, it’s not publicly edited like Wikipedia.
You’ll find information about Congress, legislature, elections, municipal governments, school boards, courts, and every other political institution that matters. There are even resources on whether hacking can win the election. It’s all broken down by category, so just browse to find whatever data you need to know.
ChartsMe (Web): Are You a Democrat or a Republican?
This one is a bit of fun, but there’s science behind it too. Recent research suggests that answering particular non-political questions can determine your ideological leaning.
ChartsMe lets you run that test, in case you haven’t made up your mind about your party yet. Remember, it’s not just the President you need to vote for. Answer 27 strange, non-political questions and the test will determine your political ideology.
Don’t take this as gospel though. This test tells you which party’s principles you are more likely to align with. But you should still actually read those to find out whether you do or don’t support that party.
Who Are You Voting for in November?
Come November, you will have to choose the next President of the United States of America. The choices are between Donald Trump (Republican Party), Hillary Trump (Democratic Party), Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), or Jill Stein (Green Party).
If you’re curious how electronic voting stacks up against the paper ballot, our comparison of the two methods can give you some answers:
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