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Six Ways to Check Out a Candidate

Don’t be shy about asking politicians the hard questions

Political candidate addresses crowd

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Go to trusted sources to find out more about the candidates during the upcoming election season.

En español | As the campaign season heats up, voters will be bombarded with information from candidates, from television ads to literature in the mail to social media posts and tweets. Here are six ways you can cut through the clutter and help yourself to become an informed voter:

First: Explore the candidates’ websites to see where they stand on your hot-button issues.

Second: If one of the candidates is an incumbent in the House of Representatives or Senate, go to Congress.gov and research their voting records, find out what issues they concentrate on, and how to contact them.

Third: Attend campaign events, including town halls (or participate in them  by phone or online) and informal coffees and other stops the candidates might be making in your community. Local party offices, public libraries and other community organizations usually have information on such events.

Fourth: Find the campaign office and call or drop in. Candidates want your vote. Make them work for it. Ask to speak to the candidate or her or his representative and get your questions answered about the issues that matter to you.

Five: Check the candidates’ answers on important issues. Factcheck.org, which is run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, keeps track of candidates’ statements and claims.

Six: Go to trusted sources, such as AARP, to find out more about the candidates. For example, you can find out how lawmakers voted on key Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) legislation.

More on Midterm Elections

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