What they say: The electoral vote predictor provides a color-coded map showing the current state of the campaign in each state. It also lists a tally of electoral votes if the election were held today, and provides access to a predicted finish as well as a list of recent polls.
Why visit: Part of the site is a blog, updated daily which provides a fascinating snapshot of the campaign on a national basis. The color-coded maps are valuable by any definition, but the access to methodology and poll tracking is unbeatable.
What they say: The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy. The Center conducts computer-based research on campaign finance issues for the news media, academics, activists, and the public at large.
Why visit: By visiting this site, you'll get detailed and easy- to-use tracking of national office holders and campaign money. We love the feature that shows what ambassadors to major countries contributed to the different political parties.
What they say: The International IDEA Voter Turnout Website contains the most comprehensive global collection of political participation statistics available. Regularly updated voter turnout figures for national presidential and parliamentary elections since 1945 are presented country by country, Looking for info about voter turnout all over the world up til 1998 this is a fascinating page.
Why visit: It's not the most comprehensive (the data ends in 2000) but, this Swedish Web site is an intriguing compilation of voting data. You can see what voter turnout is all over the globe. No, the United States doesn't measure up too well.
What they say: Minnesota E-Democracy is a non-partisan citizen-based organization whose mission is to improve participation in democracy in Minnesota through the use of information networks. We seek to increase citizen participation in elections and public discourse through the use of information and communication technologies.
Why visit: This group of volunteers wrote the book on grassroots use of the Internet to spread voter information. During the course of the campaign, candidates are invited to submit material to create a large database of campaign information.
What they say: The Secretary of State is the chief elections officials for Minnesota. All the official resources for candidates and voters can easily be found here.
Why visit: This Web site is probably the most technologically advanced of any Minnesota governmental Web site. Election results are processed and displayed quickly and the staff, it seems, is always coming up with ways to make the information more accessible.
What they say: Election Nexus, an resource for aspects of the U.S. electoral system maintained by Dr. Michael McDonald, an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. The information available here is a compilation of my research interests, with an emphasis on voter turnout, redistricting, and campaigns.
Why visit: Detailed information on voter turnout and voter eligibility in the United States. Especially sobering are the numbers of those ineligible to vote because they have served time behind bars or are currently in prison.
What they say: An independent, nonpartisan resource on trends in American public opinion.
Why visit: If you search and search for the latest opinion polls to get the 'mood of Americans,' then your journeys are over. This is a simple, easy site that has some of the most recent polling data from media and polling organizations.
What they say: This site was started about 6 years ago by a group of former employees of the Federal Elections Commission. It specializes in providing information on campaign finances.
Why visit: If only the FEC could do as good a job at making this information accessible. Candidates are easy to find and the data can be broken down in easily managed groups. However, if you want to drill down deeper, it requires a subscription.
What they say: Want to bet on who will be the next president? The Presidential Market 2004 is an online game -- a simulated futures market, but not using real money. The presidential market is a joint venture between Frontline and Marketplace, in association with KCET. Chris Farrell of Sound Money, Marketplace, and ARW will write a weekly commentary for the website on the action in the online market, along with observations on the race for the presidency. The idea is to generate interest in the election, as well as teach people about markets and how they work.
Why visit: You participate with an initial "stake" of $2500, and then buy, sell, or short shares in the major candidates. The top two players will each win a trip to the inauguration in Washington, D.C. The market launched on Jan. 19. It will be open daily 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. EST. The final closing will be at 11:30 p.m. EST on Nov. 1, 2004.
What they say: Project Vote Smart is a citizen's organization dedicated to serving all Americans with accurate and unbiased information for electoral decision-making. Its policies, procedures and structure are designed to guarantee absolute impartiality and standards of excellence in fulfillment of its mission.
Why visit: A good, basic and easy to use site that has data and info on presidential candidates and public officials. Some of the people listed have responded to PVS' issues questionnaire, others have not. But you can also get campaign finance info and relatively comprehensive public statements.