Press-Republican

In My Opinion

October 20, 2012

In My Opinion: Become informed on candidates

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization dedicated to providing factual information to help voters make informed decisions on Election Day.

Our country is founded on the principles that every citizen is included in our democracy. Voters make decisions. Through voting, we the people control our country and our destiny.

Our democracy is being challenged by unprecedented attacks on voters’ rights. Some states are implementing increasingly restrictive voter ID requirements, reduced voter registration hours and imposed high penalties if voter registration forms are not returned within 24 hours.

A flood of campaign advertising has resulted from the explosion of special-interest money from third-party, outside groups. These groups are often run by former staff of candidates or parties. The ads typically contain a higher level of attacks on candidates, as well as greater inaccuracy in statements.

We are concerned that this current environment — so filled with toxic charges, contradictory statements and deceptive practices — leaves voters so confused and disgusted that at a minimum, they can’t make their own best decisions and, at worst, they may decide not to vote at all.

The league is working to reverse this trend by promoting truth in campaign advertising. We encourage newspaper and community support of fact-checked TV ads that are sponsored by third-party, outside groups.

Election information is posted on the following non-partisan websites that provide where to vote, what candidates are on the ballot in your district and what some of their positions are on major issues: Vote411.org, www.plattsburgh.ny.lwvnet.org, www.lwvny.org and www.lwvny.org (links to New York State Legislature, our representatives, legislation/bills).

Candidate and media websites are also a source of information.

Fact checking of candidate’s information can be found on www.flackcheck.org, sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

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