Regardless of your political
affiliation, there's no denying the historic nature of today's presidential race. Turnout for the U.S. election is expected to reach record numbers. So how do you keep up with the election and gather relevant information without succumbing to the noise and theatrics of the 24-hour-cable news channels? Well, the Internet (and NPR
) are here to help offer you more options, if not more substance, than either Fox News
- Information about the candidates: If you are one of those confounding people who still hasn't made up their mind, this is your last chance to pick a candidate. You can find out information about each of the candidates' positions and records at Project Vote Smart and OnTheIssues.org. However, if that's too much reading for you, you can also find out which nominee is closest to your positions by answering a few questions over at Glassbooth.
- Where the money is coming from: Funding of presidential campaigns is always a major concern, but it's especially timely this year with Obama's groundbreaking and record-breaking fundraising efforts. You can see where the money is coming from at OpenSecrets.org and Follow the Money.
- Fact-checking the candidates: Political campaigns are filled with questionable claims and attacks, and this year is no exception. FactCheck.org and PolitiFact evaluate claims and commercials to tell you who is stretching the truth and who is outright lying.
- Where to vote: If you're not sure where you're supposed to vote, Google Maps and Vote411.org can help you locate your polling place.
- Share your voting experience: PBS and YouTube have partnered to present Video Your Vote, which asks people to document their voting experience in hopes of protecting people against voting irregularities and suppression. You can also share your experiences via Twitter which is running it's own dedicated election-themed channel. Check with the Citizen Media Law Project's 'Documenting Your Vote' guide to see what the laws are in your state.
- Get live election results: RealClearPolitics offers not just poll-watching, but election results, too, and serves to aggregate political news and commentary from various sources. You can also catch live results from AOL News (part of AOL, Switched's parent company), Google Maps and CNN, which offer an incredible amount of detail about exit polls and precinct-by-precinct results via their election maps for the truly obsessive.
- Have a laugh: As serious as the election and its impact on America are, it's important to not get all frazzled, sweating over the live results. Check out the Indecision2008 blog from the 'Daily Show' and the Onion's War for the White House for a more lighthearted take on political news.
Now get out there and vote! If you should encounter any issues or difficulties, don't hesitate to report them to Election Protection
(a non-partisan voter advocacy group) at 1-866-OUR-VOTE.