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Registering a user account means that you supply a user name, which can be your real name or a nickname, and a Wikipedia:Password. If you ask for a user name 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 your edits are recorded under your Wikipedia:IP address.
Should I bother logging in?
You don't have to log in to read Judgepedia but to edit Judgepedia, you do need to log in.
How logging in helps:
- Other users will be able to recognise you by your username when you make changes to pages. As a "name" an IP address is somewhat clumsy. Also, if you use computers at different locations (home, office, internet cafe, etc.) you have a different IP-address in each case; even in the same location, depending on the Internet connection, the IP-address may be different each time. Therefore a username is better to maintain an identity.
- You will have your own user page where you can write a bit about yourself, and a user talk page which you can use to communicate with other users.
- You will be able to mark an edit as minor, which avoids inconvenience for other users.
- You will be able to keep track of changes to pages you are interested in using a watch list.
- If you choose to give an email address, other users will be able to contact you by email. This feature is anonymous - the user who emails you will not know your email address. You don't have to give your email address if you don't want to.
- You will be able to rename pages.
- You will be able to set your own preferences, to change things such as:
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 need to use the link provided to create an account.
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.
Log in problems
If you find yourself unable to log in, you may have one of several problems.
Both usernames and passwords are case-sensitive on Judgepedia. 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.
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 e-mail 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 e-mail address that will allow you to retrieve your account. If you did not enter an e-mail 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.
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 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 Help:User talk pages for more.
How to log out
You can log out any time by clicking on the Log out link at the top right of the page.This Judgepedia article needs to be updated