Summarizing Current Issues: The Elections

This series of resources gives you library-purchased and librarian-approved resources to delve deeper into a subject currently in the news. Each page centers around one topic and contains places in our databases, on the web, or, sometimes, in our book collections, where you can go to get credible, authoritative information and viewpoints from multiple perspectives on the issue. If you would like a page created on a particular subject, please do not hesitate to contact Nicolette Sosulski by email at

A Key to Elections

“How do I pick whom to vote for? Are there any completely unbiased sources on which I can rely?”

The discouraging answer to this is “No, not really.” No source is completely unbiased. However, here are some places you can gain some information to put together your conclusions on who you think is best for each office, and what other actions on the ballot you can vote for or against.

Overall Summary and the Kalamazoo/Portage Area Ballot Kalamazoo Area League of Women Voters. The League promotes political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government. As a nonpartisan organization, the League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes any political candidate or party. The League does, however, take stands on issues after careful study. Michigan Voter Information Center, a project of the Michigan Secretary of State. This page will show you a sample ballot for any precinct in the State for the upcoming election. You can view your own sample ballot by clicking “Are You Registered?”

Am I Registered? Where Do I Vote?

  • Fill out the form on this page and you will be directed to a page which shows whether or not you are registered, where you should go to vote, a map to that location, and its hours on Election Day.

Local Candidates in the News the most recent source of local news, which only shows the latest. To look further back use:
Access World News from Newsbank (Including Kalamazoo Gazette): Our premium news database, which also contains special reports on trending topics.
Go to the library website at , then Online Resources, then A to Z, then scroll down to Access World News. You can log in with your Portage District Library card. You can search The Kalamazoo Gazette, The Grand Rapids Press, The Grand Rapids Examiner, The Lansing Examiner, and more.

How Michigan Incumbents have Voted

* * Look up your legislators’ votes. Does what they say match their voting records?

How Federal Incumbents have Voted Tracking the United States Congress. Track bills in Congress, your representative’s voting records, upcoming committee meetings, and get alerts by email. The U.S. Congress Votes Database, a project of The Washington Post, documents every vote and member of the House and Senate since 1991. Data is pulled from several sources, including the House clerk, the U.S. Senate and the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress. For the 112th Congress, users can analyze members and votes by various metrics, including caucus affiliations, 2010 margin of victory, and members endorsed by Tea Party Express or Freedom Works during the 2010 campaign. Roll Call Votes from the Library of Congress site. A roll call vote guarantees that every member’s vote is recorded, but only a minority of bills receives a roll call vote. All are recorded here.

Dubious about a statement that you have read in the news? Check it out in

http// PolitiFact is a project of The Tampa Bay Times and its partners to help you find the truth in politics. Every day, reporters and researchers from PolitiFact and its partner news organization examine statements by members of Congress, state legislators, governors, mayors, the president, cabinet secretaries, lobbyists, people who testify before Congress, and anyone else who speaks up in American politics. They research their statements and then rate the accuracy on the Truth-O-Meter – True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False and False. The most ridiculous falsehoods get the lowest rating, Pants on Fire. Mostly national/federal lawmakers, but some state lawmakers as well have appeared here.

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