How social media helps and hurts Texas voters
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®.
Agree with John 110% (That’s a TREPAC level, too).
When Texas REALTORS Vote, Texas REALTORS Win!!!
Mark - as always, a well published blog with very helpful resources. Thanks for enlightening us, and as Mr. Harrell stated, “keep ‘em coming”!
Hi Mark….as usual good article…..I am sending these links out to clients and friends….nice research in a neat little package. Thanks for this…..
Another timely, well-written piece from Mark Lehman.
Voting is a responsibility and a privilege that we, as citizens, should take seriously. The resources Mark lists are excellent, but you gotta use them. So often I hear people complain about politicians, yet I am curious if the complainers have done the necessary due-diligence when it comes to their vote.
Great piece. Keep ‘em coming.
Excellent and helpful resources!
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