Editorial Note: This blog post was written by our intern, Elizabeth Ahrens
After the months of endless campaigning during the 2012 presidential election cycle, I was eager for the continuous media coverage and the roll of political ads to finally come to a close. Despite the annoyance of a 24-hour news cycle and non-stop campaign coverage, for the first time, I also felt prepared. I thought, I’ve followed the news, read the paper- I’m set.
Yet when Election Day came, I looked at the two candidates and found it hard to see past the media frenzy, muddled media coverage and various rumors that had undergone osmosis from the nightly news into my head. I was excited to vote, and I was thrilled to exercise the power of my voice, but I could not distinguish my own opinion of each candidate from the media frenzy surrounding them. Like many voters, I felt frustrated and confused at myself and the political process.
After this experience, I knew I needed to seek out information about the issues I cared about. I wanted to be confident in the information I read and the source it was coming from, so I sought out groups without a partisan or biased agenda. What I have found at the League of Women Voters is that finding unbiased information about elections is as easy as 411. At VOTE411.org, everyone is able to access election related information. Because the League does not support or oppose any candidates, VOTE411.org provides nonpartisan information to the public with both general and state-specific information on aspects of the election process, including early voting options, absentee ballot information and poll locations.
Finding unbiased and accurate information about politics and elections may seem difficult, but organizations like the League of Women Voters, Open Secrets and FactCheck.org guarantee nonpartisan information that is accessible to all voters. Using websites like these help protect voters and create more democratic elections.
With the 2016 election cycle already heating up, I am excited to better utilize resources like candidate debates and nonbiased news sources. This time around, I feel confident in my ability to weed out false or overly partisan information. Being a part of the League has inspired me to recognize the power of my voice in our government. I cannot wait to cast my ballot in the 2016 presidential election because by exercising the right to vote, I am able to weigh in on the issues that are important to me.
Election Day 2015 is coming! Now is the time to remind the people in your life to visit VOTE411.org to register to vote, make sure that their voter registration record is up-to-date and learn about important voting rules and deadlines in their state. With your help, we’re Making Democracy Work®!