Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Follow the election from your computer

FiveThirtyEight at nytimes.com has great analysis of the polls leading up to Election Day.  It explains how likely a candidate is to win each major political race, using data from telephone polls conducted in the months leading up to the election.

CNN's Election Center will have up-to-date election results all night.  Visit "The Basics" tab to get details about different political offices (e.g. how much money does a Congressman make? and how is it possible that the same Congressman has been representing a district in Michigan since 1954?).  Visit "The Issues" tab to see what people have to say about the economy, health care, and other things that voters care about.

Vote411.org, organized by the League of Women Voters (but very useful for men and women, I promise), includes a space where you can enter your address and find out exactly who and what will be on the ballot in your neighborhood.  When you get to the page where your building shows up on a map, scroll down, click the orange "Continue" button, and you'll be taken to a page that lists the candidates for every political office that's up for a vote in your area.

I'm about to leave my teacher meetings at City College and go across the street to the school where I'm registered to vote!  Woo!  It's voting time!  Get psyched!

Update (4:08 p.m.): Ladies and gentlemen, I have, in fact, voted.  That's right: I exercised my voting rights, which are protected (at least, sort of) in that good old Constitution.  And I already know what you're thinking--you wish you were 18 so you could be in a photo as awesome as this one:
Patience.  Your time will come.  In the meantime, make sure your parents get out and vote!  And after you've done your research, maybe they'll ask for your advice when they fill out their ballots.


  1. If you are a citizen of New York City do you have to vote?What happens if you dont vote? Where can you vote at? If you are 18 and you know you have to vote and you dont what can possibly happen?Okay, Sorry for these questions I just want to know. My mind wants a clear understandng so when my time comes I can vote!- Jaileen :)

  2. Hey Jaileen, I love your questions. In the United States, we are not required to vote. Other countries require you to vote, and they consider it a crime if you don't. But in the USA, you don't have to. You won't be given a ticket or arrested or anything else.

    However, you will have missed out on the biggest, most obvious opportunity that we Americans have to express our opinions about government. If you do your research, choose a candidate who you agree with, and then tell other people to vote for the same person, you can make a big difference in the outcome of an election.