Now, it does not take the ride of Paul Revere to set the nation on its ear. The Election is not just coming. It is upon us, all around us, and everywhere. The deluge of political sound bites and chitchats from television, radio, newspapers, and all corners of cyber space seems overwhelming and inescapable. But that does not mean you have to rush and make a quick decision. For a decision of this magnitude, you have every reason to take your time and think it through. Here are some high quality information sources that may help you cut through the mumbo jumbo churned out by campaign machines running at full throttle and form your own opinion on who should hold the most powerful office on earth.
For background information on US Presidential election, check out
- CQ Press Guide to US Elections, a library subscription database that includes an encyclopedia of US elections, facts and figures, and lots of data from the 1800s to 2004.
For summary and comparison of candidates’ positions on key issues:
- ProCon.org – 2012 Elections: it presents summaries of presidential candidates’ positions on key issues for easy comparison.
For fact checking:
- FactCheck.org: a non-partisan, non-profit organization that monitors the factual accuracy of claims made by political players.
- ProPublica’s 2012 Presidential Campaign Reading Guides: it investigates some of the best stories on the candidates, “so you can get beyond the day-to-day coverage and get a sense of each candidate’s actual record.”
For influence of money on US politics:
- OpenSecrets.org – Money in US politics: from the Center for Responsive Politics, a Non-partisan group whose mission is to inform citizens about how money in politics affects their lives, empower voters and activists by providing unbiased information, and advocate for a transparent and responsive government.
- Political MoneyLine: a library subscription database that covers all aspects of political money, with searchable data on political donations, Super PACs and more.
Interested in how other people are thinking? Check out the polling sites:
- Gallup: Election 2012
- Gallup: Accuracy Record in Presidential Elections
- Pew Research Center: Election 2012
Never voted before? Here is how you can vote this time:
- Project Vote Smart: a non-partisan volunteer organization that provides information on candidates as well as local voting information.
- Maryland State Board of Elections: the official election site of the State of Maryland.
If you have any questions, you can always count on Ask a Librarian. Just type in your question and we’ll get back to you shortly. You can also consult our research guide for Political Science and Policy Studies for more information on elections and US politics in general.