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*Political Science

General research guide that introduces users to resources pertinent to the study of Political Science at OSU, with suggestions for locating books, articles, research tools, and data.

Voting in Oregon

All voting in Oregon is by mail. Ballots are due at the county elections office by 8pm on election day--postmarks do not count!

In order to vote in an election in Oregon, you must be registered to vote 21 days before the election. If you have moved since the last election, you must update your registration. You can register online.

Unsure if you are already registered? You can check your registration status.

 snapshot of Elections page on Oregon Secretary of State website

snapshot of Elections page, Oregon Secretary of State website

Oregon Secretary of State, Voting and Elections

The Secretary of State is Oregon’s chief elections officer. Some of the things the website provides are comprehensive election information to the public, including information on voting, campaign finance and candidates. Here you can also study the history of Oregon elections, find statistical data, and get the results of recent elections. The Office also publishes the state Voters' Pamphlet and distributes it to every household in Oregon, and also make it available here online so that all Oregonians have the opportunity to make informed decisions when voting.

Elections Process

National Elections

Electoral College

United States Electoral College (NARA)

Electoral college laws and procedures. State-by-state electoral college votes, 1789-2004

Electoral College (Fair Vote)

How the electoral college works, which states bind their electors, faithless electors (Organization is lobbying for Presidential election by popular vote)

Election Process

FairVote (formerly the Center for Voting and Democracy)

Organization dedicated to achieving universal access to participation, they provide background information on election issues (redistricting, proportion representation, instant runoff issues, and voter turnout for example)

Oregon Elections

Election Laws, Rules, and Publications

Candidate Information

Candidate Profiles (from - Politicians & Elections, Influence & Lobbying, News & Analysis sections for Congressional and presidential elections - Includes links to Congressional and state legislative races by state

CQ Roll Call Politics - Section on House, Senate and Gubernatorial races to watch

Project Vote Smart - Enter your zip code or address to see a list of who's running in your district.

Oregon State Candidates: Politics1 Online Guide to Oregon - A directory of Oregon candidates for State Cabinet, United States Senator and Congress in the current election cycle; state political parties; state news sources. Does not include candidates for state legislature.

Importance of Elections

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” --  Larry J. Sabato, Pendulum Swing

"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Issues & Debates

Presidential Debates

American Presidency Project (UCSB)

Transcripts of primary debates beginning 2007; will include general election debates after they happen.

Commission on Presidential Debates

Text of debates for 1858, 1948, 1956, 1960, and every four years since 1976

Candidates On the Issues - Lists major Presidential candidates with candidate contact information, biographies, and voting information. Some biographies include the candidates’ positions on a variety of issues (economy, education, environment, job creation, health care, national security, tax policy, etc.).

On the Issues - Extensive web site analyzing positions of all Presidential candidates as well as incumbent governors, senators and House members on a variety of campaign issues. Relies on their voting records but also includes position statements.

Ballot Measures (Oregon)

Ballot measures on current or most recent elections can be found in the Oregon Online Voters Guide, linked from the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division website,

The Government Research Services division of the Oregon State Library has digitized a historic run of Oregon Voters' Pamphlets in the Oregon Voters' Pamphelt Project at  Here you can browse individual issues or search across decades of Oregon's colorful elections history. (Primarily Marion County--while statewide measures are covered, local measures are largely missing from this resource for now.)

For historical research on all states' (including Oregon) ballot measures, there is a Ballot Measures Database at, from the National Council of State Legislatures, with coverage back to 1902.

Campaign Finance - From the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) - An independent regulatory agency founded by the United States Congress to regulate the campaign finance legislation in the United States. Functions include: donor lookup; influence & lobbying; receipts and disbursements of Presidential and Congressional candidates. Search by candidate and year; then drill down to detail on individual contributors.

Project VoteSmart - Non-partisan and mostly volunteer organization. Includes Issue overview on Campaign Finance and Elections (both national and for individual states)

Comprehensive Election Websites election guide - is a service of Capitol Advantage and Knowlegis, LLC; private, non-partisan companies that specialize in facilitating civic participation.

Project Vote Smart  - Oregon State University was the first location of this non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization funded exclusively through individual contributions and philanthropic foundations. Now located in Montana, the organization website has sections on Elections & Candidates, Government & Officials, and Issues.

Political Humor

Political Humor ( - A compilation website of political humor, jokes, cartoons and videos from a variety of media sources.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - Makes a big deal about presidential elections every election year and broadcasts live from the conventions.

Political Humor on Twitter - The first election cycle with Tweets!

The Onion Politics - This satire site occasionally comes close enough to reality to fool even the mainstream media

For Educators

Civics Toolkit from the Oregon Secretary of State Office is an Oregon-centric guide to elections civics. The lesson plans target students ages 17 to 24. They cover everything from the history of voting in Oregon to what you need to know before you register to vote.

Includes the following lessons:  Lesson 1: The Making of Good Citizens - Lesson 2: Federal Laws That Drive Elections - Lesson 3: Did you Vote? Can you Complain? - Lesson 4: Voter Eligibility - Lesson 5: Oregon Elections - Lesson 6: Political Party Roles and Responsibilities - Lesson 7: How the Media and Special Interest Groups Influence - Lesson 8: Initiative - Referendum - Referral - Lesson 9: Identifying Reliable Resources - Lesson 10: Becoming a Critical Consumer - Additional Resources

Project Vote Smart has a Government 101 tutorial and a section For Teachers with classroom resources.

ICPSR Resources for Instructors includes exercises (modules) for classroom use on Voting Behavior in the 2012, 2008 and 2004 elections, and a Data-Driven Learning Guide on Voter Turnout in the U.S. These utilize statistical data sets (subscription database; while the modules are openly available, some of the data sets may only be available to the OSU community).

Learn about Elections and Voting on Links to general information, educational materials for kids and educators, information about the Electoral College and Election History, and more.