Resources for 2016: & is a “Free, Online Source for Political & Election Information.”

Wikipedia, the popular free online encyclopedia, is often used as a quick source for basic facts. Readers do need to be aware that since it has so many volunteer contributors, readers need to recognize that the content, provided by volunteers, is not always unbiased or reliable.

One lesser known online source is which bills itself as “the online encyclopedia of American politics and elections.”

“Our goal is to inform people about politics by providing accurate and objective information about politics at all levels of government. Ballotpedia’s articles are 100 percent written by our professional staff and a small group of guest editors. All content written by our guest editors is reviewed and fact-checked by our staff.” boasts of “an editorial staff of over 50 writers and researchers,” and provides information on local, state and federal politics. The site is a terrific source for the basics – such as election dates, or state delegate counts. Not everything is hard cold facts, though, as pages like “State influencers” (or “power players”) include names based upon subjective criteria.

The page focusing on Illinois ( includes links to individual pages with information about topics such as the Illinois congressional delegation, the courts, state and local government, as well various state policies.

Ballotpedia also has a feature where you can enter your home address to learn who your local elected officials are, as well as see a sample ballot.

With you can “Study Past Election Results and Predict Future Scenarios with Interactive Map.”

“It will take 270 electoral votes to win the 2016 presidential election,” the website explains, and with their interactive “red state” v. “blue state” map, you can forecast the future, learn about past elections results, and even embed your predictions into your own website. posts recent election news and polling data, and can be followed on Facebook and Twitter. According to their website, the interactive map has been widely recognized, including being linked to from the National Archives website.

Are you smarter than a political pundit? Exercise your prognosticator muscles at