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Becoming An Informed Voter: Home

A guide to help the Valencia College community apply research skills to become informed voters

What Does It Mean to Be An Informed Voter?

Your vote matters!  Being an informed voter means knowing and utilizing the power and influence of your vote. This guide will help you to:

  • Do your research. It takes time and research to determine which candidates best support your interests, but doing so can have a major impact on your life. Many people know the least about state and local candidates, but these can sometimes have the most direct impact on you and your community. Your vote matters from the top of the ballot all the way down.
  • Check the facts. Misinformation abounds. Get the facts about the issues and candidates.
  • Know your rights. Know when, where and how you may vote to ensure your important vote will count. 
  • Make a plan. Know when, where and how you will exercise your right to vote.

Research the Candidates

These non-partisan websites allow you to compare candidates side-by-side.

These websites will help you find endorsements (statements of support) for candidates by special interest groups, the media, and individuals.

These websites will help you find candidates' voting histories (how the candidates have voted on specific issues, if they have previously held elected office). 

These websites allow you to track who has given money to each candidate's campaign, how much each candidate has received, and how much has been spent.

Research the Issues

Use a variety of news sources to get a more complete understanding of the issues. Using library databases, you can search hundreds of subscription-based sources.

Use local news sources to research local issues.

These resources provide arguments for and against on key political issues.

Interest groups can advocate for an issue or a group of people. Learn how these groups represent their constituents on the issues. 

Use these resources to learn your community's current status on key political issues.

Research the Office

Not sure how to vote because you're not sure what the office does? Learn more:

Research Ballot Measures

In addition to candidates running for office, your ballot may include ballot measures, such as proposed constitutional amendments. Learn how these ballot measures may impact you.

Use these links to find your sample ballot by county.

Watch Debates, Interviews & Speeches

Watch debates, interviews and speeches for first-hand, unfiltered information about the candidates.

Check the Facts

Find out which politicians' claims have been confirmed or debunked.

These resources will help you learn to do your own fact checking!

Know Your Voting Rights

Plan your vote! Ensure you are registered to vote. Know what you should and should not expect at the polls, and know whom to contact if you encounter any difficulty.

Florida voting and election laws:
U.S. voting and election laws:
Voting rights and history from Valencia African Heritage Committee:

Know When, Where & How to Vote

Plan your vote! If you plan to vote in person, set a date to cast your vote and know where to go.

How to Vote By Mail

Use these websites to find general information about voting by mail.

Use these links to request vote by mail ballots in your county.

Use these links to check the status of your vote by mail ballot a few days after you've dropped it off or mailed it in.