election

RECENT POSTS

How Felon Voting Laws Could Impact Today’s Election [Map and Infographic]

The map below, created by designer/programmer Lewis Lehe, shows state-by-state felon voting laws and population impacts as reported by the The Sentencing Project, based on 2010 data. Note: among the states that deny voting rights to some felons who have completed the entirety of their sentences (including parole), restrictions vary significantly, and often depend on the severity of the crime.

[See article and infographic below map]

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How Republicans and Democrats Differ on 11 Key National Issues

Includes PDF and interactive chart

Ah, election season. How I love thee.

In the tsunami of allegations and attack ads marking the run-up to November’s hotly contested midterm races, it’s easy to lose track (and interest) of what the candidates and their political parties actually stand for, and just how much is at stake. Midterm elections generally garner far less attention than presidential contests, leaving a huge segment of eligible voters in America largely uniformed and disinterested about outcomes. Perhaps most consequential in this election is the fate of the U.S. Senate, which Democrats stand to lose to control of.

The question, then, is so what? Are America’s two ruling political parties really all that different from each other?

Short answer: yes.

Browse through the official platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties (adopted in 2012), and you’ll notice some pretty extreme contrasts in philosophy on everything from taxes to abortion. In these documents, both parties have laid out a set of fundamentally different visions for America and the role government should play in our lives.

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Which Propositions Passed (and which counties voted for them)?

Includes interactive map

Let’s be honest: voting in California can be kind of overwhelming.

Along with having to decide on a president, a senator, state and local officials, and local ballot measures, California voters were also faced with no less than eleven statewide propositions this election. Of these, five passed.

The map below shows which counties supported what (counties in green voted Yes, those in red voted No). The voting patterns emphasize the fairly sharp political divide between more liberal counties in and around the Bay Area, Los Angeles and along the coast, and the far more conservative counties of the Central Valley.

Big Scoop Archive

Multimedia content packages exploring big topics in the news

Multimedia content packages exploring major issues and important trends in the news

California’s Drought
Dry times in the Golden State

Voting Rights
The ongoing struggle for voter equality in America

Immigration Reform
The changing face of U.S. immigration

Minimum Wage Blues
Is it time for a raise?

Gun Control
The fight over firearms (w/ EDUCATOR GUIDE)

Same-Sex Marriage in America
The battle over gay marriage (w/ EDUCATOR GUIDE)

California’s Prison System
Why are so many people behind bars?(w/ EDUCATOR GUIDE)

The Facebook Effect
The business of knowing our business.
(w/ EDUCATOR GUIDE)

The Art of Redistricting
How our political destinies are mapped

California’s State Parks
What’s so important about having parks?

Affordable Housing in California
Why is it so expensive to live here?

Election 2012
Big issues, big money, big stakes: making sense of a messy process.

When Money Became Speech (the rise of the Super PAC)

INCLUDES: ARTICLE

In the heat of the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, a conservative political group called Citizens United produced a “documentary” that vilified democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. But when the group tried to run the piece on TV within a month of the primary election, the Federal Election Commission prohibited it from doing so, ruling it a form of corporate “express advocacy” banned by current campaign law on corporate spending. Continue reading

Ranked-Choice Voting Explained

INCLUDES: ARTICLE AND VIDEO

In early November San Franciscans chose their mayor through an electoral process called ranked-choice voting (RCV). Also known as “instant run-off voting,” voters were tasked with picking three candidates (instead of one), and ranking them in order of preference, thus eliminating the need for a separate runoff election. It’s the first time San Francisco used this system to decide a competitive mayor’s race (RCV was used in San Francisco’s last mayoral election, in 2007, but because Gavin Newsom won in a landslide, the system wasn’t really put to the test).
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