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Frequently Used Resources
State and Local Government Directory
The State and Local Government Internet directory provides convenient one-stop access to the websites of thousands of state agencies and city and county governments.
Open Government Guide
A complete compendium of information on every state's open records and open meetings laws.
Access profiles of members, congressional voting records, bills and resolutions, and committee membership.
Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC)
Provides comprehensive information about staffing, spending, and enforcement activities of the federal government.
Uniform Crime Reporting
From the FBI, access data down to the agency level on crime, law enforcement officers killed and assaulted, National Use-of-Force Data, and hate crime statistics, as well as special compilations such as Cargo Theft Report, Human Trafficking, and topical studies.
Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the Center for Responsive Politics is the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.
Finding Government Records
The government keeps records about itself and about the country, and these are open to the public though they are not always immediately available on the Internet. The best place to start is the website for that particular governmental body. See the page on FOIA to learn about requesting records that are not readily available.
Here are some of the records you may find:
- Governmental spending
- Elected official voting records
- Meeting minutes
There are also a lot of records on individual members of government, government spending, legislation, and more. Look at the "Politics" tab on Resources for Reporting and at the Government Information guide for more help.