OOO Process | Registration | Polling Places | Candidates | Issues | Initiatives | Analysis | History | Money | News | Polling | Reform


OOOOften we hear the complaint: "My vote doesn't count".
OOOOur reply, of course, is that the complaint is at once both patently untrue, and true enough to satisfy the requirements of a democracy. The fact of the matter is that anyone's vote counts as much as anyone else's; but that it counts only as much as anyone else's.
OOOWhat our fellow citizens are whining about is not that their vote doesn't count, but that it isn't decisive. Well, no one's is decisive, it isn't supposed to be. We vote not because our measely vote makes the critical difference (though local elections, and sometimes even national ones give the lie to that assumption); but because it is our responsibility as citizens to vote.
OOOSo the next time someone waves a flag in your face, for whatever reason, ask them about the last time they marked a ballot. If they sniff derisively, laugh, or simply can't remember, remind them that no flag can make a patriot of a citizen who doesn't respect their nation enough to fulfill their responsibilities toward it.
OOOOur first is simply to cast the ballot that thousands of our fellow citizens have died to guarantee not only for ourselves, but for countless peoples around the world.


The sites below explain the process of American elections.

Elections...the American Way
Basic information on candidates, voters, the party system, the election process and issues from the Library of Congress.
President Elect
"The Unofficial Homepage of the Electoral College", provides a copy of Chapter 1 of Title 3 of the United States Code covering the election of the President as well as a list of all presidential election results. See, too, Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
Election 2004
From Scholastic Magazine, a not-just-for-children explanation of the process. Look at How To Run For President. Send the kids, read it yourself.

First, you have to register. You can fill out the form on line, print it and send it in. Use the registration page on Rock the Vote, or The League of Women Voters. You might also try, which provides an online registration form, but which still requires you to mail it to state voting officials. provides you with PDF versions of your state's application...but you still have to send it in.


At your official polling place, or by absentee ballot, if you qualify. Unfortunately, we have so far found no single web site providing polling locations. However, Vote America, the official web site of the National Association of Secretaries of State provides links to individual state election commissions. Most are pretty dreadful. If you can't find your polling place there, there is also the site of the National Association of State Election Directors (click on the blue map), or you can call your local county clerk.


Those below are the majors and selected minors. More can be found at the political party page on Politics1.
For the candidates, you might start by looking over our own Candidates page, which focuses on the Presidential election. Or you could start with the numerous issue guides in the section just below.
For local candidates and issues, until we build our own page, you should check your local newspapers, available at Hometown News, especially around election time when they pass out their endorsements.There are also the party pages below.

Green Party Natural Law Party
Democratic National Committee Reform Party
ODemocratic Congressional Campaign Committee Republican National Committee
ODemocratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ONational Republican Congressional Committee
OCongressional Progresssive Caucus ONational Republican Senatorial Committee
ODemocratic Leadership Council ORepublican Leadership Council
Libertarian Party

If you want the easy way out, with a few simple answers to simple questions SelectSmart will tell you who your ideal candidate is; but the emphasis is on simple.


The sites below more or less systematically explore the candidates' stand on major and minor issues of the campaign.

ABC News
Their "In Their Own Words" feature presents the candidates speaking on selected issues.
In addition to "union" concerns, the site also offers positions on globalization, health, education, corporate accountability and civil rights.
Arab American Institute
Contains voter guide. Excellent source for the Arab-American p.o.v. on the candidates and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
American-Israeli Coopertive Enterprise
Provides candidates' views on the Middle East.
Candidates on Guns
A project of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the site offers a candidate survey on gun issues as well as voting records and public statements where available.
CNN: The Issues
Thorough, though not terribly in-depth.
Their Election 2004 page presents candidates and issues. You can click on the photos, or use the DNET grid through the link just below them. This is also the source of C-Span's candidate information.
Council on Foreign Relations
Foreign policy positions, speeches and statements.
Democracy in Action
Candidates, Media, the Parties, Interest Groups and the Electorate.
League of Conservation Voters
Provides profiles, issues and ranks the candidates on their environmental records and/or proposals.
Along the same lines as Public Agenda below, National Issues covers issues, not candidates. We like it for its inclusion of outside articles covering different sides of a particular subject. A very wrothwhile place to start one's political education.
National Public Radio: The 2004 Democratic Presidential Candidates
The site focuses on a series of Morning Edition interviews with each candidate. At the bottom of the individual candidate pages, along with news stories filed by NPR correspondents are other interviews from NPR programs. This is an excellent source for hearing the candidates in their own words.
New York Times: Candidate
NYT offers both the candidates' stands on the issues as well as breaking and archived news.
On The Issues
"Every political leader on every issue." Much of the site seems still taken up with the 2000 election, but the 2004 candidates are there.
Peace Action
Foreign Policy.
Political Communication Lab
Contains a multimedia feature on the candidates in their own words. There are also documents related to past campaigns to 1994, including campaign commercials and other analytical documents.
Project Vote Smart
A wide variety of issues for a wide variety of candidates.
Public Agenda
While it says nothing about the candidates, PA frames issues vary well. From its home page, go to Issue Guides, pick and issue, and begin with the Discussion Guides.
Service Employees International Union
Union-related issues including immigration.
Vote by Issue
Fourteen major issues from PBS OnLine News Hour and Bostons WBUR. You can skip the quiz and just go to the "View by Issue" or "View by Candidate" feature.
The "Boston Channel" is hardly in-depth, but it neatly and quickly sets out the issues in a few simple tables.


Ballot initiatives and referenda are issues put on a ballot, for example millage increases or changes to local ordinances, that voters may vote on directly.

Ballot Initiative Strategy Center
Frankly liberal/progressive, it nonetheless provides a list of initiatives and referenda around the nation, as well as links to both pro and con web sites where available.
Initiative and Referendum Institute
Tracks ballots and initiatives nationwide.

Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania

Two of Annenberg's areas of study are political discourse and the media. They are very good at analysing what gets said in elections - by candidates, interests and voters - what it means and who it effects. This is a good place to find light as national elections heat up.

Brookings Institution Governance Studies

While ostensibly focused on reform, the site offers both election analysis and recent developments in reform and campaign regulation.

From the Columbia Journalism Review, the media watching the media watching the candidates.

Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)

Based in the University of Maryland's School of Public Affairs, and funded by both the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Carnegie Foundation, CIRCLE conducts research on the civic and political participation of young Americans, including political opinions, media use and forms of political expression.

Something we've been praying for! A reputable, non-partisan organization that analyses the accuracy of politcal ads and campaign claims. From the Annenberg Center above.

Public Agenda

The organization is exeptionally good at framing the many issues of the day, along with gathering the news and opinions behind them and collecting the facts surrounding them. This is an excellent first-stop site for understanding the issues behind the politics.

Political Advertising

From, a collection of articles and reports on political advertising and its effects.


Although much of the site is for subscribers, the front page carries several tables of information on the primaries such as dates, whether they are open or not, as well as demographic data for the primary and caucus states.

Commission of Presidential Debates

Read transcripts of present and historical debates - and the public reaction to them.

Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections

All the way back to 1789. Includes both national and state maps, results for all the national parties, popular and electoral votes, voter turn-out, broken down by counties or congressional districts. Very impressive.

U.S. Census Bureau: Voting and Registration

Some statistics going back to the '50s.

Campaigns and Elections

C & E won't tell you where the money comes from, but being a site for campaign insiders, it might give you some impression of where it goes. In the same vein, see Political Resources On Line.

Campaign Finance Information Center

Though much of the site is available only to members, the state campaign finance search is useful.

Campaign Finance Institute

Good source for both federal and state campign finance laws including the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act and the Supreme Court's McConnell v. FEC which upheld the law.

Where it comes from and where it goes. Includes major contributers, both individual and oranizational; contributions by zip code; and a directory of political action committees.

Center for Public Integrity

The CPI ranges more widely than just campaign money, but what it has to say is valuable.

Common Cause Soft Money Laundromat

Tracks soft money contributions.

Federal Election Commission

This is the original source for the money trail. Unfortunately, you have to perform searches, and the search options are limited. For all its consumer-friendly graphics, it really isn't.

Follow The Money: the Institute for Money in State Politics

Covers contributions by race, by contributer or by interest group. Contains both current data and archived figures. (Not much yet for the current election cycle.)

Fund Race

We've no idea where they get their statistics, but the presentation is interesting.

More breadcrumbs on the money trail. Very thorough on the laws and the issues.

Political Money Line

Who gives it, who gets it, and what they do with it. Some areas are subscription only.

p NEWS: Links to internal political pages & sections. We will update as these media pages become available.

ABC News: Vote 2004 Minnesota Public Radio: Campaign 2004
Boston Globe: Camapign 2004 MSNBC: Decision 2004
Campaigns and Elections MSNBC/NewsWeek: Campaign 2004
CBS: Campaign 2004 The New York Times: Campaign 2004
Chicago Tribune: Election 2004 PBS: By the People, Election 2004
The Christian Science Monitor: Decision 2004 PBS NewsHour: Politics & Campaigns
CNN: America Votes 2004 Politics US: On-line news digest
C-Span: 2004 Vote Time: Election 2004.
Fox News: You Decide 2004 USA Today: Campaign 2004.
The Guardian: US Elections 2004: from the UK The Village Voice: Election 2004
The Hill: Mostly focused on Congress Washington Post: Elections 2004
The Los Angeles Times: Election 2004 Yahoo News: Elections

American National Election Studies

From Stanford University and the University of Michigan a wealth of polling information, covering public opinion and voter self-identification. See their Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior.

The Gallup Organization

America's premier pollsters. Most of their content is subscription, but the news service and news releases are free and fascinating.

Mystery Pollster

No mystery, really. Just Mark Blumenthal "Demystifying the Science and Art of Political Polling".

Pew Research Center for People and the Press

The PRC researches public opinion and attitudes on a wealth of topics.

Polling Report

Gathers and presents polling from the major media polling sources.

Rasmussen Reports

For a private polling organization, Rasmussen is surprisingly, if not uniquely, generous to the non-paying public with its results. Granted, this doesn't take much, but there's quite a bit here.

Survey USA

Barebones prognostications on the horserace under "2004 Election Polls".

Brennan Center Democracy Program

Seeks to "strike the balance" between effective funding and maintaining the independence and integrity of elected officials.

Campaign Finance from The Hoover Institution

History, Supreme Court cases, summary of bills, current structure of campaign finance reform from a conservative perspective.

Campaign Finance Institute

Studies, analyses and the latest news on campaign finance issues.

Center for Voting and Deomcracy

Addresses a range of issues, but is a chief advocate of proportional representation.

Democracy 21

Campaign finance, money and elections, the FEC and enforcement.

League of Women Voters

Liberally inclined, but geared toward voter education and election reform.

National Voting Rights institute

Unabashedly liberal. Dedicated to getting money out of politics.

Public Campaign

Ostensibly practical answers to the issue of clean money and clean campaigns.

Voters For None Of The Above

Advocates the ballot option that "the voter may vote for the line "None of the Above; For a New Election" instead of for a candidate, indicating the voter is calling for a by-election with new candidates to fill the office. If "None of the Above; For a New Election" receives the most votes, no one is elected to that office and a follow-up by-election is held. Note that even candidates running unopposed must obtain voter consent to be elected." Interesting.