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Just the Facts, Please!

It’s Election Year!  The hype, the hoopla – the “he said,” “she said” – the exaggeration, accusations, the denials.  Are you fed up yet?  How do you find out the truth? There are three established and respected online fact-checking organizations that stand the test of time.

FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Foundation Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.  Factcheck follows both broadcast and print media.  Nonpartisan and nonprofit, it describes itself as a “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.  It monitors factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. The goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship to increase public knowledge and understanding. The website’s archives date back to 2003.  There is an “Ask FactCheck” link as well as the “Viral Spiral”, which states “Don’t get spun by Internet rumors”

Project Vote Smart
Project Vote Smart is a unique political research site that has been around since 1988.  Located in the Montana Rockies, far from partisan influences, Project Vote Smart is a nonprofit, non-partisan educational organization.  For readers who do not have the patience to wade through the quantities of data, there is the “Vote Easy” section.  Major political and social topics are listed across the top of the screen—the readers click on the positions that most closely match their own to see which candidate reflects their own opinions.  Presidential & Congressional candidates are rated on whether they completed the 2012 Biographical and Political Courage Test Forms.

Politifact is a service which began in 2007, and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.  Every day, a team of reporters and researchers from PolitiFact and partner news organizations including Tampa Bay Times, St Petersburg Times & Congressional Quarterly, examine statements by members of Congress, state legislators, governors, mayors, the president, cabinet secretaries, lobbyists, people who testify before Congress and anyone else who speaks up in American politics. They research these statements and then rate the accuracy on the Truth-O-Meter : True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False and False. The site is also noted for a grand sense of humor with its “Pants on Fire” designation for the most ridiculous falsehoods.

Reminder !  Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.  The polls are open in the Town of Falmouth on Election Day from 7:00am to 8:00pm.  For information on where you vote or what precinct you live in call the Town Clerk’s Office at 508-495-7350.

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