Investigative Techniques: Politics

General Political Resources

Campaign Finance

Federal Election Commission
The FEC administers and enforces the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which governs the financing of federal elections.  Campaign finance information is available, through the Disclosure Data Search, searchable by individual contributors, committee contributors/recipients, and candidate name.

NYS Board of Elections

NYC Campaign Finance Board provides provides a searchable contribution database, information on the Campaign Finance Program, a Voter's Guide, and more.

Follow the Money 
Database of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy. There is a list of what data can be found on the website.

Campaign Finance Guide (Columbia Libraries)

Courts & Law

For a great guide on legal research, see this ebook written by Columbia Law librarian Dana Neacsu! Provides information about federal (national) US courts, as well as New York State courts.

Also, this Intro to NY Courts is a great introduction to New York State and City courts, including their jurisdictions, claim amounts handled, etc.

To find out where court decisions are published for each court, see the NYU Law Library Guide to NY Court System.

Find Court Documents

Visit the Law Library to use Bloomberg Law (aka BLAW, available at a Bloomberg Terminal) and find dockets for past and current cases.

You can use LexisNexis Academic or Westlaw Campus (available at Teachers' College) to look up case law (federal or state) for finished cases.  

Need More?

The Columbia Law Library has some great research guides, including this one on Municipal Law (city/county). NYU's Law Library also has some great guides, like where to find NY Statutes & Legislative History, NY City Law & Regulations, and the organization of the NY Court System.

Need more help? Ask a Columbia Law librarian or visit the Law Library!  

Exit Polls

eBook: Exit Polls: Surveying the American Electorate, 1972-2010
This book explores trends, but also shows how to find and use exit poll time series data.

iPoll Databank (from Roper)
Includes exit polls and surveys from Gallup, Pew Research, and more. Some data may require contacting CU Libraries' Digital SocialScience Center for access.

Library Guide: Polling, Surveys, and Public Opinion
See this library guide for more databases and related resources.