Help:Congresspedia Voting Record Resource Center
From OpenCongress Wiki
Policies and Guidelines
Research and referencing
Easy and ready-to-go voting record additions
These are links to instruction pages on Congresspedia created to make it easy to add information to any member of Congress' voting record with no further research. Feel free to create such a page and add it to this list. If you need help, contact Conor Kenny, managing editor of Congresspedia.
- Project:Votes on immigration reform - Focuses on recent votes on immigration policy. It currently features on two Senate votes that provide paths to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Rights and the War on Terror
- Project:Record on [Attorney General nominee Michael] Mukasey - Features the Senate vote to confirm Michael Mukasey as the U.S. Attorney General. The vote was controversial because of Mukasey's refusal to say whether he thought waterboarding was "torture," and therefore illegal.
- Project:Record on SCHIP - Focuses on votes on legislation to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program. It currently features four votes in the House of Representatives to versions of the bill that were steadily pruned back to overcome objections of enough representatives to overcome President George W. Bush's veto of the bill.
Further information and instructions on voting records
Creating text to insert into Congresspedia
When creating a ready-to-go voting record project like the ones above or when simply adding information on a vote to a member of Congress' profile, make sure to follow the ground rules, especially the rules to provide an external, verifiable source and to keep your descriptions "fair and accurate." This essentially means that you should describe a vote or a bill in sober language without any polemics or rhetorical flourishes. It is often helpful to include which organizations supported or opposed a bill to give readers, no matter their ideological leanings, a complete picture. However, "fair and accurate" also means that additions should be free of misinformation or spin, even if it is put out by a "mainstream" source. Basically, apply the smell test (any bull in there?) and you'll be fine.
Places to find information on voting records
These are links to external voting scorecards that feature specific votes and how each senator or representative voted. Because the votes are generally selected by experts in their area, these are often the best places to distinguish the key votes on issues out of the thousands made by Congress every year. Linking to the SourceWatch profiles on the organizations that put these scorecards out helps give such vital contextual information as who funds the organization and what its agenda is.
(w/ link to SourceWatch profile)
|Drum Major Institute for Public Policy||theMiddleClass.org scorecard||Progressive/populist; broad focus: economic, government reform and environmental issues. Focuses on "bills that would have a significant impact (positive or negative) on the squeezed middle class, as well as on the aspirations of low-income Americans who want to work their way into the middle class." Specifically, legislation that impacts the ability to obtain "a secure job, the opportunity to own a home, access to health care, retirement security, time off for vacation, illness and the birth or adoption of a child, opportunities to save for the future and the ability to provide a good education, including a college education, for one’s children."|
|American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)||congressional scorecard||Progressive/populist; labor and working/middle-class economic issues.|
|American Civil Liberties Union||scorecard||Liberal/libertarian; civil liberties.|
|American Conservative Union||ratings of Congress||Conservative; broad focus: social and economic issues.|
|Americans for Democratic Action||scorecard||Progressive; broad focus.|
|Christian Coalition|| action alerts for recent votes,
2007 legislative agenda
and most recent scorecard (2004)
|Conservative; social issues and tax cuts.|
|Concord Coalition||congressional scorecards up to 2004||Pro-balanced budgets.|
|Progressive Punch||votes database||Progressive; broad focus.|
|Taxpayers for Common Sense||legislative scorecards and action center||Anti-taxes and spending|
|U.S. Chamber of Commerce||scorecards for past year's votes and alerts on this year's votes||Pro-business.|