How to Check a Politician's Voting Record

by Culture & Society Editor

It's important when voting for a candidate that you know who you're voting for. Since a candidate can say virtually anything in a television ad, the fastest and easiest way to know what a politician really thinks is to check her voting record. Here are some easy steps to find out how a candidate voted on the issues you care about the most.

Check with any groups you may be affiliated with. For instance, the NRA, NOW and The Family Research Council have voting record information on issues you already care about.

Call your Congress member's office and ask about the issues you care about. This might not get you the most accurate information, but asking in a way that does not reveal your position may get you the answers you need. For instance, simply asking about the abortion issue may help you find out on which side of the fence the candidate falls.

Write your Congress member about your issue. Many Congress members respond to these types of letters and appreciate you taking the time to voice your opinion and will take this opportunity to explain their opinion to you. To write your representative go to www.house.gov and click "Write Your Representative" on the sidebar. To write your senator go to www.senate.gov and choose your state.

Don't believe what you see on TV. These ads are pure rhetoric and are designed to get you to feel a certain way about a candidate. Do your research and vote responsibly.

Navigate to the Project Vote Smart website at www.vote-smart.org. Here you can get information on voting records by clicking the "Voting Records" sidebar and selecting your state. Clicking "Congress" will give you a list of your current Congress member by district. If you don't know your district, you can type in your ZIP code on the side bar.

Photo Credits