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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

-Voter Registration System is Clearinghouse for Election Day Info

-FEC Provides Valuable Data for Presidential Elections

-Online Resources Honor American Heroes

-National Emergency Alert Test Scheduled for 11/9

Interactive Map Keeps Voters Apprised of
Current Elected Officials

As election time rolls around, some people may not be fully aware of their current elected officials. The Indiana Secretary of State has an interactive map that displays current elected officials. With the click of a mouse and knowledge of your home address, you can find your federal, state, county, township, and school board officials. Some elected officials have contact information so you can email them or check out their websites for their policies, agendas, and initiatives. Please remember to exercise your right to vote this election. No vote=No voice.  

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Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal Documents Librarian
&

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Voter Registration System is Clearinghouse for Election Day Info

Indiana Statewide Voter Registration SystemStill not registered to vote? The deadline has passed for the upcoming municipal election, but if you cannot find time to stop into your county office, you may want to check out the Indiana Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS). The SVRS is a single, uniform electronic database containing voter registration records for the 92 counties in Indiana. This user-friendly database can help you find your polling place, confirm your voter registration, and register to vote. It also contains many other helpful tools and resources to help Hoosier voters make informed decisions. This database obtains information from other state agencies such as the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Indiana Department of Health in order to ensure that their data is accurate. If you find that your personal information needs to be corrected, notify your county clerk or Board of Voter Registration.  

FEC Provides Valuable Data for Presidential Elections

Federal Election CommissionAlthough it’s not a year for national-level elections, librarians and library patrons alike may be interested in data from the Federal Election Commission, or FEC. The FEC was created in 1975 to “administer and enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) – the statute that governs the financing of federal elections.” Basically, the Commission enforces laws on political contributions and monitors public funding for Presidential elections. They are also responsible for making campaign finance information publicly available. Their Disclosure Data Search allows users to search for campaign contributions to national elections, both presidential and congressional. You can search both by contributor and by candidate. Additionally, you can search by committee. This will tell you not only which committees have donated, but also which committees have received funds. It’s broken down by year and dates back at least to the mid-90’s. You can also find Candidate and PAC/Party Summaries from the last two congressional election cycles. Those interested in downloading a lot of data at once will like the Disclosure Data Catalog. This feature is still being developed, but it allows users to download large amounts of data in useable formats. The news is full of sound bites about who contributed to whose campaign; this way, you can verify those stories for yourself!

Online Resources Honor American Heroes

Veterans Day 2011In addition to Election Day, it’s important to remember another event this month: Veterans Day. Without the service of veterans to our country, it’s likely that we would not even have this important right. According to the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features for Veterans Day 2011, there are currently 21.8 military veterans in the United States. Originally known as Armistice Day, the purpose was to celebrate peace following the first World War and honor those who had fought in it. We continued to celebrate Armistice Day until 1954. At this time, Americans had fought in World War II and Korea and Armistice Day was officially changed to Veterans Day. See the first Veterans Day Proclamation issued by Eisenhower here. Read more about Veterans Day and its history at the Veterans Affairs website. You also may want to check out the Veterans Day Council of Indianapolis for local information. Finally, the VA has a website for kids! Go here to read information about the VA, veterans, and the American flag.

National Emergency Alert Test Scheduled for 11/9

Natioanl Emergency Alert System TestThere will be a national test of the Emergency Alert System at 2 PM EST on Wednesday, November 9. Please be sure to share this information with your patron. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) has issued the following message:

  • The test will be at 2 p.m. EST, Wednesday, Nov. 9 and may last for three minutes.

  • The purpose is to nationally test the emergency alert system. Media used will be:

    • TV (digital, cable, satellite and services); and

    • Broadcast radio

  • Geographic area will be the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and America Samoa.

Communication Goals:

  • Minimize undue public concern.

  • Make public safety professionals aware of the test.Spread the word to local communities.

  • Reduce 911 calls.

  • Reinforce preparedness messaging.

For more resources, such as PSA scripts and audio files, a flyer, press release, preparedness kit, fact sheet and more, go to www.getprepared.in.gov . If you have any questions, please call the IDHS Public Information Officer on duty at 317.234.6713.

 

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