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Voter Information Guide

Being Informed

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right. . . and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, and indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers.” John Adams (1735–1826), from A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law (1765). Quoted in The Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations,edited by Antony Jay (Oxford University Press: New York, 1996)

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Introduction

Being able to see the difference between disinformation (incorrect information that is deliberately distributed), misinformation (unknowingly incorrect information), and information (giving or receiving of knowledge) can sometimes be hard in a political campaign. That's why it's so important to develop the skills necessary to find the correct information on political candidates, the bills they sponsor, and the stance they take on various issues. Learning how to understand government information, straight from government resources, enables U.S. citizens to make informed decisions about voting.

In this guide you will find links to: government and non-government resources that show the voting records for candidates, videos on searching FDsys (the government's online federal documents database), searching for documents based on issues, finding your local voting booth, how to register and vote for different elections, and understanding the legislative process.

If you cannot find the information you need in this guide, consider using the Libary of Congress' website http://www.loc.gov. If you would like to ask a librarian at the library of congress about federal documents or government legal matters, please visit http://www.loc.gov/rr/askalib/.


Political Transparency

"A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity."
-Dalai Lama

 

The Government Publishing Office

The Government Publishing Office was created by congress in 1860, and began operations in 1861. The purpose of GPO is to distribute information on public government matters, and isn't just limited to legislation. Nearly all information regarding public matters, regardless to what department in the government, in all three branches, is distributed to the online database and depository libraries through the U.S.