This section includes handy online tools and support for the upcoming election. Radical Reference neither advocates nor discourages voting, our aim is simply to put information into our users' hands. Please contact Radlib for comments or suggestions.
Most of the mainstream thought today assumes that voting and democracy are the great participatory tools for citizens to be involved in their governments. For another perspective, see "Choose and Lose", infoshop.org's evaluation of voting and elections.
Election Day Hotline Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)
For our more direct-action minded readers, check out November 3, 2004: Day of direct action in Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Houston
1) General election information: Want good election background and information? There are three good places to start:
- Project Vote Smart. Plug in your zip code and get a list of candidates, their biographical information as well as their voting records, issue positions, campaign finances and interest group ratings.
- Worldwide elections site from UC San Diego.
- Elections 2004 from the University of Michigan Library.
2) State by state election laws: Find elections information for all states, as well as ballot propositions, elections laws etc.
- Election Protection: lists certain states' voting rights (from moveon.org)
- League of Pissed Off Voters: A progressive org focused on 18-35 year olds. They've written a book called, "How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office: The Anti-Politics, Unboring Guide to Power." edited by William Upski Wimsatt and Adrienne Brown. You'll also find progressive voter guides and links to other allies like National Hip Hop Political Convention , Punkvoter, and Next Wave of Women in Power
- National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) has links to election laws and regulations of all states.
- National Conference of State Legislatures: state election laws, redistricting, term limits, historic information and more.
3) Swing states. There are 11 "swing" states, worth 135 electoral votes. According to Electoral-vote.com, they are: Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire and Ohio (which Bush won in 2000) as well as Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin (which Gore won in 2000). Do you want more information on swing states? Check here:
- Google news search for "Swing states 2004"
- Associated Press elections site
- The Guardian US Elections coverage. Also see their Oct 25th article entitled, "Candidates mobilise armies for final push" by Julian Borger
- NY Times campaign 2004 (free registration required). They describe swing states in their Oct 24, 2004 article,
- Slate.com's Campaign 2004
- Electoral College Calculator has an interesting interactive system that lets the user experiment and play the "what if?" game. (OK, this one's just for fun!)
5) Information on ballot measures at the state (and local?) level. See the NASS site above for a good starting point.
6) election observers. Besides being observers, the organizations below have much good information on their sites about free and fair elections.
- Alliance for Better Campaigns: This org is running two projects of interest: a) "Our Democracy Our Airwaves" campaign to "ensure that broadcasters air at least a minimum amount of candidate and issue coverage in the weeks before elections, and make the airwaves accessible to more candidates"; and b) the Election News Watchdog Project where volunteers can rate local broadcaster performance and provide real-time feedback to station managers and news directors.
- Center for Voting and Democracy
- Election Line
- Fair Election
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund Election Protection
- Office of Democractic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Election Observation Mission to the United States. YES, the UN is sending a team of elections observers to the United States FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!
- Right To Vote