Registering a username is optional but encouraged! Everyone can contribute to Ballotpedia, but you must register to create new articles.
There are two main reasons to register:
- Benefits: Having an account provides benefits like more editing options and user preferences. One handy feature is the watchlist, which makes it easier for you to track changes to pages you are interested in. Another is the ability to move or rename a page.
- Privacy: An unregistered user is identified by the computer's IP address, which is used as their public identifier when making contributions (and signing comments on talk pages). Your computer's IP address can sometimes be used to find information about you, so registering increases your privacy by hiding it.
Ballotpedia has a few standards which we follow to keep things moving smoothly.
Neutral point of view
Ballotpedia's editorial policy is the "neutral point of view," often abbreviated "NPOV." This policy says that we accept all the significant viewpoints on an issue. Instead of simply stating one perspective, we try to present all relevant viewpoints without judging them. Our aim is to be informative, not persuasive. It's fine to state opinions in articles, but they must be presented as opinions and not fact. These opinions should always be attributed, for example "Supporters of this say that..." or "Notable commentator X believes that..."
Ballotpedia requires that you cite sources for the information you contribute. All sources should be listed in a section called References. If any websites (not used as references) would be of particular interest to a reader of an article, they should be listed and linked in an External links section. Citations help our readers verify what you have written and find more information.
Do not submit copyrighted material without permission. When adding information to articles, make sure it is written in your own words. Remember that all information found on the Internet is copyrighted unless the website specifically states otherwise.
Ballotpedia encourages an atmosphere of friendliness and openness. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should always assume good faith on the part of other editors. Don't assume that someone is acting out of spite or malice. If someone does something that upsets you, leave a polite message on the relevant article's talk page or on the user's talk page, and ask why. You may find that you have avoided a misunderstanding and saved yourself some embarrassment.