Help:Logging in

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It is not necessary to log in before you read a page, but you do have to register and log in to edit a page. (When you are logged in, you will also see additional editing features that are not visible to readers who are not logged in.)

Logging in

Registering and creating a user account means that you supply a username, which can be your real name or a nickname, and the password you chose when you first registered. If you ask for a username someone else already has, the system will reject your request and recommend that you pick another one. A user account is created only once. You are then "logged in."Next time you log in you supply your username again and demonstrate with the password that you are the same person.

Edits you make are recorded under your username. If you are not logged in, you will not be able to make edits.

How to log in

First, make sure that your Web browser accepts cookies. Some browsers can accept or reject cookies from individual sites; users of these should configure the browser to accept cookies from Ballotpedia.

Click on the Log in link at the top right of the page. You will then be prompted to enter your username and password. If you have not logged in before, you will first need to log in.

You may give your email address if you like. Other users will be able to send email to the address, but they won't be able to find out what the address is.

If you click the box Remember me, you will not have to give your password again when you access Ballotpedia from the same computer.

Login problems

If you find yourself unable to log in, you may have one of several problems.


Both usernames and passwords are case-sensitive on Ballotpedia. Did you remember to type in the right capitalization? For example, if you registered under MyUserName, you will not be able to log in as Myusername (notice the subtle difference in spelling). The same goes for your password. The only exception is the first character of the username, which is capital by default.

Enable cookies

If you appear to have logged in, but as soon as you try to look at a page after 'Log in successful', you appear logged out again, it is very likely to be a cookie problem. See this brief tutorial on how to enable cookies for your browser.

Make sure your computer's date and time are set correctly; if they are not, cookies may expire before they are supposed to.

What if I forget the password?

If you previously entered an email address when signing up for the account or in your Preferences, you can enter your username on the login screen and click 'E-mail new password', which will send a temporary password to your email address that will allow you to retrieve your account. If you did not enter an email address, or the address was out of date, you will have to create a new account.

How to set preferences

Click on the Preferences link at the top right of the page for various options, including:

  • Changing your password.
  • Changing the skin, which changes the way that the web pages look.

See Help:Preferences.

Your User page and User talk page

As a logged in user, you will be able to create your own user page and user talk page. When you are logged in, you will see your username displayed at the top right of the page. Click on this to get to your user page, which you can edit in the same way as any Ballotpedia page.

Most users write a little bit about themselves and their interests on their user page.

You also have a User talk page. You can access this by clicking on the my talk link next to your username at the top right of the page. Other people may write messages in your user talk page by editing it, and you can respond. See user talk page for more information.

How to log out

You can log out any time by clicking on the Log out link at the top right of the page.