Data Sources

Thank you to all of our data partners

 

Legislators

Pictured above is Senator Menendez's page on Votetocracy. It displays various data horizontally in tabs. The sources for each tab's data is described below. 

Bio: Biographies are sources from two places. First, Official Congressional Biographies are sourced from Govtrack which get’s them from the Congressional Bio Guide. Here is an example of Senator Menendez on our website and the source site, the Congressional Bio Guide. This data is refreshed when a new Senator or Representative is introduced. Updates between new appointments are not frequent on the source site. Part two of our Bios are sourced from the legislator’s website. See Senator Menendez’s Bio on Votetocracy and Senator Menendez’s Website. 

Bills: Bills are sourced from Govtrack who, for bills, get the information from Thomas.gov or the newer Congress.gov. Here is an example of the bill (HRes 401 Expressing support for designation of the third Tuesday of November as "National Entrepreneurs Day”.) on Thomas, on Congress.gov, on Govtrack and on Votetocracy. This data is updated every day. Congress.gov does not always post updates the same day. As as result, Govtrack may be a day behind which is therefore the case on Votetocracy as well.  

Voting Records: Are sourced using the same process as bills.  Updated daily. 

News: Our news section is powered by the AP Newswire. We index all AP Political News articles, search for mention of a legislators name and then attach it to the legislator’s profile page on Votetocracy. Some legislators don’t make the news everyday, as such, you may not always find articles on the legislator’s news tab. Here is a sample of the news tab on Senator Menendez. This data is updated every 15 minutes. 

Funding: Campaign donations data is sourced from OpenSecrets who sources it from FEC and processes it into a useful format and display. Votetocracy takes data from OpenSecrets and mashes it up with state (relevant to the legislator who’s page your on at the time) employment and revenue data. We then display it in a useful time series and bubble graph. For an example see Senator Menendez’s funding profile on Votetocracy and on OpenSecrets. Data is refreshed quarterly in non-election years and monthly, sometimes weekly during election periods. 

Elections: Data is sourced from the FEC. We display past elections. See a sample for Senator Menendez on Votetocracy and on the FEC website. Data is refreshed quarterly in non-election years and monthly, sometimes weekly during election periods. 

State Employment and Revenue: This data is sourced directly from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Here is an example of state data on BEA and economic data on BEA. To see a matching example on Votetocracy see NJ senator Robert Menendez’s state page on Votetocracy. 

Interest Groups: This data is sourced from project VoteSmart. VoteSmart collects hundreds of ratings from organizations who rate legislators on various topics. For an example, see Senator Menendez’s rating page on Votetocracy and on VoteSmart. 

Committees

Committee data is sourced in the same way as legislator data. See above. This data is refreshed daily. 

News

Our site-wide news section is powered by AP Political News Wire. Our news sections are sourced from AP Political News Service. When on a bill page and viewing related news, we search each article for mention of a bill’s category or keyword. Then match the article to bills in that category. In the legislator’s related news section, we index all AP Political News articles, search for mention of a legislators name and then attach it to the legislator’s profile page on Votetocracy. Some legislators don’t make the news everyday, as such, you may not always find articles on the legislator’s news tab. Here is a sample of the news tab on Senator Menendez. This data is updated every 15 minutes.  

Bills

Pictured above is a bill sponsored by Senator Menendez. It displays various data horizontally in tabs. The sources for each tab's data is described below. 

Voting Records: Bill specific voting records are sourced in the same way as legislator data. See above. This data is refreshed daily. 

Related Bills: Are sourced in the same way as legislator data. See above. This data is refreshed daily. 

Co-Sponsors: Are sourced in the same way as legislator data. See above. This data is refreshed daily. 

Related News: Is sourced from AP News Service. Here, we search each article for mention of a bill’s category or keyword. Then match the article to bills in that category. This data is refreshed every 15 minutes. 

Full Bill Text: Is sourced in the same way as legislator data. See above. This data is refreshed daily. 

Bill Analysis: This content is created by the policy analysts on our staff. Not all bills have a completed analysis. To see bills that do have a completed analysis visit Bills In Motion.