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Monday, December 1, 2008

Government Documents Highlighted Each Month

At least twice a month, we will be highlighting an interesting government website or online resource. Often these resources will pertain to topical issues or current events. Many of the websites will be online publications produced by the federal government or a federal government agency. Others will be sites created by academic institutions, think tanks, or independent organizations and will provide commentary or analysis on the actions of the government. Occasionally, we will also include sources produced by or for state and local government entities

The first topic we are going to address is the presidency. In particular, we have chosen to highlight a source that examines voting trends both past and present. In the next blog post, we will provide links to resources that address the transition to a new administration.

To view voting trends throughout America from 1840 to 2004, visit the site, Voting America. This site, developed by the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond, was designed to explore “the evolution of presidential politics in the United States across the span of American history. The project offers a wide spectrum of cinematic and interactive visualizations of how America voted in presidential elections at the county level over the past 164 years. You can also find expert analysis and commentary videos that discuss some of the most interesting and significant trends in American political history.”

Consolidated analysis of 2008 presidential voting trends is not yet available in a comprehensive or organized fashion. Voter turnout and some demographic trends have been reported in various sources, but, so far, no one-stop reference tool has been created to examine the detailed patterns of American voting behavior in 2008. (If you think that we’ve overlooked such a source, please let us know!)