Ideas to Impact Blog

Grant Recipient Spotlight: Ballotpedia

Ballotpedia’s mission is to “inform citizens about who’s on their ballot, when the elections are, why that election matters to them, to their children, to their school district, to their pocketbook and all the policies that come into play in a really dispassionate but clear way,” says Leslie Graves, founder and publisher of Ballotpedia.

Ballotpedia connects people with politics by changing the way they access the information they need to be informed about federal, state, and local politics. Based in Middleton, Wisconsin, with staff writers across the nation, the project produces neutral, accurate, and verifiable information on government officials and the offices they hold, political issues and public policies, elections, candidates, and the influencers of politics.

One of Ballotpedia’s most innovative offerings is Sample Ballot Lookup, a free online tool for viewing the lists of candidates on local ballots. Ballotpedia includes comprehensive election information for the largest 100 cities by population, as well as all state legislative, statewide, and congressional races across the nation. Viewers can also subscribe to Ballotpedia’s daily, weekly, and monthly email newsletters on a variety of specialized topics at By making accurate election information easily available to all, Ballotpedia promotes free, fair elections at the federal, state and local levels and enables citizens to make informed voting choices.

“Civil society to me means the ability of people who may disagree in a really wrenching, painful way to still be able to accept that there are facts that are true and that matter, and that there can be a common foundation and we can speak about it in a polite way with each other.”

— Leslie Graves, Founder and Publisher, Ballotpedia