Ballotpedia is a nonpartisan interactive encyclopedia of American politics published by the Lucy Burns Institute, designed to connect people to politics by creating an accessible and accurate resource on government. With the help of staff and volunteer contributors, Ballotpedia covers all three branches of government at the federal, state and local levels. The main website, Ballotpedia.org, houses six main content areas, known as “desks.” Each desk — federal, state, local, policy, verbatim and influencers — is further broken down into more specific projects covering a wide range of topics.
The federal desk contains information about elections, candidates, elected officials, governing bodies and current events at the federal level. This content comprises four individual projects: presidential, federal affairs, U.S. Congress and federal courts. Candidate and incumbent pages offer detailed biographies as well as information on past elections, breaking news and positions on key issues.
Like the federal desk, the state desk includes articles dedicated to elections, candidates and elected officials. At the state level, Ballotpedia also incorporates information related to statewide ballot measures, giving voters a summary of the legislation as well as arguments from those supporting and opposing each measure. The projects in the state desk focus on state executive officials, state legislatures, state courts and state budgets.
The local desk is comprised of information relating to local ballot measures, municipal governments, school boards and local judges. Readers can use these resources to learn about their current representation at the local level and discover which candidates will appear on the ballot in upcoming elections.
The policy desk gives in-depth analysis on a wide range of topics. The policy areas currently covered by Ballotpedia include energy, education, pension, budget, environmental and electoral policy. Through the policy desk, LBI seeks to help readers get the full story on public policy issues by defining important terms and explaining key issues on a state-by-state basis.
The influencers desk aims to profile the influencers of American politics. Influencers help elect candidates, achieve policy change, create ideological change and affect popular perception. The activity of influencers, and their impact, can be felt on the national, state or local level, and even in certain policy sectors.
Ballotpedia’s newest desk, verbatim, examines claims made by elected officials, political appointees and political candidates at the federal, state and local levels. With over 500,000 elected officials in the United States, verbatim’s mission is to give serious analysis to political wordplay.