U.S. Vote Foundation and FactCheck.org Collaborate to Provide Voters with Nonpartisan Political News

Flagship “My Voter Account” Application Offers Voters News from Award-Winning Fact-Checking Site

OCTOBER 9, 2014 - WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) and the nonpartisan site FactCheck.org have developed an alliance through which FactCheck.org will provide relevant, timely and accurate political information to voters who create an individual “My Voter Account” on the US Vote website. [View Video]

The project, supported by the Democracy Fund, was created to make it easy for voters to find unbiased, fact-checked news from within their private Voter Accounts. Voters can sort the news by topic, location or time frame. Once logged into their personal Voter Accounts, readers can access valuable information that may affect their voting choices.

FactCheck.org, a project of the nonprofit Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, serves as a “consumer advocate” for voters, aiming to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. The site sorts false claims from facts in prominent state and national elections and fact-checks political assertions year-round.

To accompany this announcement, US Vote has released a video that explains the features of the My Voter Account application and underscores the ways in which Voter Accounts can support the voting process and further civic engagement.

“The concept of the ‘My Voter Account’ application is that voters can find all the information they are seeking within their accounts, without searching,” said US Vote CEO and President Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat. “It’s designed to be a ‘personal democracy dashboard,’ which helps voters stay active in civic engagement with voting as the central action.”

She added, “Bringing FactCheck.org into ‘My Voter Account’ was a natural next step – it brings depth to the issues that concern voters and real value into their personal Voter Accounts.” Approximately 375,000 voters currently have My Voter Accounts.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and co-founder of FactCheck.org, said, “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to partner with US Vote and extend FactCheck.org’s reach by directly providing non-biased, nonpartisan information to US Vote’s valuable audience – likely voters.”
FactCheck.org, established in 2003, paved the way for other fact-monitoring news media that have joined in evaluating the accuracy of political claims, both in and out of election season. In April, the site was named the best political website by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, marking the fifth time since 2008 that academy judges have honored FactCheck.org with a Webby award.

The U.S. Vote Foundation - FactCheck.org project was made possible through the generous support of the Democracy Fund, which provided the resources to develop a FactCheck.org Application Programming Interface (API) that others can now use to access FactCheck.org’s articles for use on their websites. The My Voter Account implementation is the first to feature the use of the FactCheck.org API and articles. Interested parties are encouraged to contact FactCheck’s director, Eugene Kiely to request approval to use the API.

“The onslaught of campaign ads and political punditry makes voting confusing for even the most diligent of voters,” said Adam Ambrogi, Director of the Responsive Politics Initiative at the Democracy Fund. “Integrating the rigorous reporting of FactCheck.org into online voter information platforms like ‘My Voter Account’ offers a new way to help voters cut through the chatter, avoid bad choices, and have confidence that the candidates they are voting for actually reflect their beliefs.”

US Vote’s My Voter Account application offers individual voters the opportunity to log in and find voting information that applies to them. Voters can swiftly check election dates, see their elected representatives and their respective legislative histories, and get a rundown on voting eligibility requirements in their states. Within their accounts voters can maintain a voting profile, track activities that they are taking part in, and maintain their registration profile. With a click they can generate a state-specific voter registration form or absentee ballot request.

US Vote is continuing to develop enhancements and bring additional content into the My Voter Account application. A Capstone Project team at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Information Systems Management is currently working to develop new polling place location, ballot and candidate information modules for the application.
[View Video]

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U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) provides voters with public access to innovative voter information, registration and absentee ballot request tools and services. More information is available at www.usvotefoundation.org, Twitter (@us_vote), Facebook (US Vote), and Youtube (usvotefoundation). Contact: Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, President and CEO, U.S. Vote Foundation, 202-470-2480, susan@usvotefoundation.org

FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. It monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Contact: Eugene Kiely, director, FactCheck.org, 215-898-2372, eugene.kiely@factcheck.org.

The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is responsive to the public and able to meet the greatest challenges facing our nation. For more information: www.democracyfund.org