Political Fact Checking

Political Fact Checking

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The White House in DC, at an upward angle. Photo by angela n. from Flickr Commons

Are your elected officials being honest in their statements? Are things being said about a certain politician true? It's important to not jump to conclusions and know the facts, not only for voting in elections, but also for forming political opinions, engaging in informed debate, and holding politicians accountable. Luckily, there are many reliable sources to help you with this.

Resources for National Politics

  • FactCheck.org - This nonpartison and nonprofit site aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in US politics. They apply journalism and scholarship to monitor the factual accuracy of major political players, including the presidential candidates.
  • PolitiFact.com - Another fact-checking site for elected officials and other politicians, this one uses the trademarked Truth-O-Meter to rate accuracy, from “True” to “Pants on Fire.”
  • PunditFact.com - Many Americans get political information from pundits, or individuals who offer commentary and analysis on political news, whether through television programs, blogs, social media, or interviews. This site also uses the Truth-O-Meter to determine the accuracy of statements from these types of outlets.
  • Washington Post Fact Checker - Using their Pinocchio test to fact check political figures and candidates, this website and newspaper column also attempts to clarify issues and provide missing context.
  • Political TV Ad Archive - Political ad spending is expected to be in the billions, so expect your favorite programs to be saturated with them. If you are wondering about the source of an ad or the truthfulness behind claims and accusations, this free resource is quite insightful.
  • OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics tracks money in US politics and its effect on elections and public policy, in order to make the government, politicians, and candidates more transparent to citizens.
  • Federal Elections Commission - The FEC oversees the public funding of Presidential elections, enforces laws pertaining to campaign contributions, and discloses campaign finance information to the American Public. Their Campaign Finance Disclosure Portal is the entry point to data, searchable, downloadable, or presented visually as maps and charts, so anyone has access to the what they’re interested in and the ability to perform their own analysis of the data.
  • FollowTheMoney.org - The National Institute on Money in State Politics is a nonprofit and nonpartison organization whose mission is to gather data from a variety of sources, and make it readily available to the public to help clarify the role money plays in politics.
  • VoteSmart.org - Find your political soulmate through this comprehensive site which uses public records, voting history, statements, and more to help you find the candidate who most closely aligns with your views.

Resources for State and Local Politics

  • Ohio PolitiFact - Focusing on Ohio candidates and political statements about Ohio, this state Politifact site does the fact checking research for you.
  • Judicial Votes Count - Don’t skip voting on judges this year. This site, from the University of Akron, makes it easy to learn about the candidates on your ballot so you can make an informed decision.
  • League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus -  Check back often with LWV to get helpful voting information, find out about relevant events and forums, and, closer to the General Election, access the popular Voters Guide.
  • Columbus Dispatch Politics - For political news on local and state candidates, check with the Dispatch.

Voting Resources

  • Ohio Secretary of State - Includes everything you need to know about voting in Ohio, including your rights, voting legislation in Ohio, and even Ohio campaign finance information.
  • Franklin County Board of Elections - Register to vote, view your sample ballot, find your polling location, and more, through this site.