<< The Body Politic

The top 10 websites for the midterm elections

Friday, October 29th, 2010

By Alec Weltzien

As Election Day draws near, we here at AEI’s Program on American Citizenship figure you might want to inform yourselves about the candidates and issues of the midterm elections. So if you would like to head into that ballot box prepared, look no further! We’ve put together a list of our top ten websites to help you cast your vote wisely.

1. Vote Easy by VoteSmart.org offers an interactive campaign map and matches your positions with those of the candidates in your state. Check out how close the candidates come to your own opinions.You can also look at their interest group affiliations, campaign finances, and voting records.

2. What happens inside the Capitol? Open Congress gives you quick access to current bills, Representatives, Senators, voting records and more. Connect campaign contributions with specific bills and votes under the “Follow the Money” link. View the mudslinging yourself at the AdTracker project, which has compiled election ads by state.

3. Govluv.org connects you with Senators and Representatives via Twitter. Follow multiple candidates simultaneously, and get your voice heard on their Twitter accounts.

4. One of the hottest debates right now revolves around the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provided federal stimulus money to state and local projects across the United States. To follow the funds into your neighborhood and rate their effectiveness, check out Stimulus Watch 2.0, which uses data from the government’s Recovery.gov website.

5. AEI’s own Election Watch 2010 gives you access to our top scholars on the current election. Follow recent developments and track polls with our experts, who discuss issues like the disappearance of moderates. In addition, find out why the movement of independents, white Catholics, and people with some college education towards Republican candidates is important.

6. The Perpetually Public Data Project allows users to find and track the websites of Congress members over time. By saving recent website changes, it helps you to know how representatives are positioning themselves in the current race.

7. Election reform is an evergreen issue in American politics. With video interviews and blog posts, Why Tuesday? will get you thinking about how we vote and what improvements should be made. Do you know why Americans vote on Tuesday?

8. OpenRegs.com helps you to sort and make sense out of the thousands of federal regulations that affect you. Inform yourself before the election by browsing current proposals, subscribing to a particular agency or topic, or debating in one of their forums. You can download OpenRegs.com to your iPhone as well–the Federal Register at the touch of a button.

9. Checking out Election Land will land you with easy answers to some of your basic election questions. What’s going to be on my ballot? Where do I go to vote?  Find answers to these questions and ask your own. Or you can simply admire the wallpaper, a collage of campaign buttons from over 30 years of elections.

10. Government spending, taxing, and regulation are among the top issues in this year’s election cycle. WashingtonWatch.com breaks down the numbers behind the bills, giving you the actual cost of current proposals. Track legislation by greatest cost or greatest savings, and follow the pork barrel spending around the United States.

Image from Wikimedia.

Alec Weltzien is an intern with the AEI Program on American Citizenship.