October 2008

Spotlight On…  Election 2008

When, Where and How

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4. Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. To locate your neighborhood polling station and see what will be on your ballot, visit the Hamilton County Board of Elections Voter Location page.

If you’ve never voted before, read the Tips for Voters in English or Spanish for basic information and helpful suggestions.

Voters are now required to bring a form of identification to the polling station in order to vote. A list of acceptable forms of I.D. can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.

Registered voters may request an absentee ballot. Applications for absentee ballots are available at all Library agencies two to three months before an election, or can be downloaded from the Hamilton County Board of Elections, the Butler County Board of Elections, or the Warren County Board of Elections websites. Your completed absentee ballot must be received by the Board of Elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

National Election News and Polls

As always, there is an enormous variety of resources for the latest news about the national election scene.

Special sites from the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Wall Street Journal offer news and analysis, background information about the candidates and issues, interactive graphics, videos, and staff blogs. Campaign Tracker 2008 is produced by the National Journal, a weekly magazine about politics and government . PBS Vote 2008, a collaborative effort between 12 public media organizations, offers videos, news, and online tools that can be plugged into your website or social networking page. For an international perspective, check out the BBC News.

Even websites for kids are covering the races! A few good sites are the Weekly Reader Election Center, Scholastic News Election 2008, and Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President.

Gallup and PollingReport.com are good resources to consult if you’re interested in tracking the results of the latest public opinion polls.

Campaign Finance, Electoral Process, Trivia, and More

The Federal Election Commision is an excellent resource for those interested in learning more about campaign finance, rules and regulations pertaining to the electoral process, or general voting information.

The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Department of State have compiled lists of frequently asked questions about voting rights and elections.

FirstGov is a useful gateway on a wide range of election-related topics such as voter registration, campaign contributions, voting records, contacting elected officials, and the electoral college. FirstGov also offers a kids’ guide to the election process.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Facts for Features offers a special edition page on the 2004 Presidential Election. The Bureau has gathered unique statistical trivia about voter turnout, registration, and more.

Make sense of all election jargon with this glossary from the State Department.

Local and State Elections

You’ll find a complete list of Hamilton County contests and candidates on the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Ohio website. The LWV website also has information about Butler, Clermont, and Warren County issues and candidates. The Secretary of State’s office maintains lists of all federal, statewide, General Assembly and county candidates, as well as all local issues. The Secretary of State also publishes the Voter Information Guide, which answers the most frequently asked questions about voting in Ohio.

To help voters with the election of judges—for some, a confusing and obscure area of the ballot—LWV offers a Voters Guide to Judicial Elections. It also publishes a Directory of Public Officials, which includes contact information as well as other important government and education phone numbers.

Local websites for the Charter Committee, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Reform, and Republican parties offer endorsements and additional local links.

Election Results

Official results for Ohio are available from the Secretary of State and the Hamilton County Board of Elections after the polls close.

Political Fiction

If you need a break from the day-to-day progress of the elections, pick up a novel and enjoy a lighter look at our political process. Here are a few recent candidates from our fiction collection.

Politics on TV and the Big Screen

Last, but Certainly Not Least…

Vote! Remember to bring your identification. And if you missed registration for this election, be sure to visit your public library to register in time for the next one.