Political Records Online

Searching Politics

University of Florida Professor Cory Armstrong shares tips for searching political records online.


Florida Governor's Actions are Public Record

While this is an accusing video from an obviously biased view point, it stresses the fact that actions of a public official are public record.

InSpectigate Politics

There is a wide variety of subjects that may fall into the category of politics, but we'll narrow it down a little for the sake of the skim reader.

Politics here will focus on government officials and acts of legislation.

Whether you are politically savvy or in the dark, so to speak, the Internet has a vast range of information regarding politics. The difficulty, however, can be in finding the most accurate information about certain candidates and or issues.

Here are some tips to help you get started with your search.

1. Write down a goal or a motive for your search and try not to get sidetracked.

The important thing to remember when searching politics is what you are trying to find. Whether it's general information about a party, candidate or piece of legislation, or detailed finance and voting records you seek, it's easy to get sidetracked if you don't stay focussed.

2. Start off with your favorite search engine and look up issues to research, and then visit some of the political sites provided here to find more information.

Websites like www.fec.gov, www.votesmart.org and www.opensecrets.org present political information regarding finance and other issues to the user quickly and simply. But remember, sifting through political information can be like balancing a ball on a paddle, and with each new piece of information the paddle gets heavier on one side or the other. It takes research to be well informed and discipline not to let the ball go off the edge.

3. Be insatiably curious!

Have a desire to know as much as you can about politics because it affects you directly. The people in local offices today, city council members, sheriffs and judges, will be those in federal office tomorrow.

4. Pay attention to the information you find and participate in local elections.

Remember, It's not just you that you're voting for!

If you're having trouble with you're search, or if you know of a website or other tip to improve InSpectigate, e-mail it to me.