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How social media helps and hurts Texas voters

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Professional headshot of Mark Lehman

02/16/2016 | Author: Mark Lehman

In Lehman's Terms

Were you surprised to see a Facebook post that said the conservative legislator you’ve been voting for is a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union? Or were you disappointed to find out on Twitter that the liberal lawmaker you support belongs to the right-wing John Birch Society? It must be election season again. 

Negative campaigning is nothing new to the political process. It’s been used forever to drive down voter turnout. And with the meteoric rise in the use of social media, the spreading of false information about candidates—some of which could be classified as character assassination—has reached new heights. (Or should I say new lows?)

For the most part, social media is a positive for the election process and makes for a more informed electorate. However, it places more responsibility on voters to look beyond 140 characters or a cleverly worded Facebook post to find the truth.

Early voting for the March 1 primary election runs through February 26. One way you can ensure you have the facts this election is to see what credible sources are saying about ballot options. Several trade associations, including the Texas Association of REALTORS®, interview candidates and carefully analyze their voting records before deciding who to support. Visit texasrealtorssupport.com to see the TAR-support candidates on your ballot. 

Here are a few others resources that can help prepare you to vote: 

  • Texas House: Learn about your state representatives, and find legislation they authored.
  • Texas Senate: Meet your Texas senator.
  • Texas League of Women Voters: This organization always puts out a practical, non-partisan voting guide.
  • Ballotopedia: This online encyclopedia covers information about elections, elected officials, and the state government.
  • Texas Legislature Online: This mobile-friendly site provides information about the Texas Legislature.
  • U.S. Congress: Meet your congressman, and learn about Congress.
  • votetexas.gov: Maintained by the Texas secretary of state, this site acts as the go-to resource for Texas voting information. 

Regardless of your political leanings or voter preferences, don’t let irresponsible, anonymous candidate attacks dissuade you from exercising your constitutional right to vote. Get the facts and vote for the candidates you choose.

I’ll see you at the polls. 

Mark Lehman is vice president of Governmental Affairs at the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

Categories: In Lehman's Terms
Tags: in lehman's terms, primary, political affairs

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on texasrealestate.com. Any legal or other information found here, on texasrealestate.com, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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