Third Party Resources

Many websites have been developed to assist non-major or unknown candidates make their way in the field of politics. They include how-to guides, legal resources, and policy briefs, and are published by such diverse groups as political parties, watchdog or activist organizations, law firms, and media outlets.

Project Vote Smart’s website offers non-partisan information about political parties and candidates. Its “Guide to Political Parties” lists all of the political parties in the U.S., with a brief description of each and a link to their official websites.

Third Party News is an excellent resource of non-major candidates. It publishes near-daily news briefs from across the U.S. about third parties and political issues that directly impact them. In its blog-like format, the entries tend to have an editorial tone, but they still present factual information that is likely to be helpful to a new candidate who wants to monitor the legal and practical problems and successes of third parties. Many of its entries come from Ballot Access News, which offers online content dating back to 1994 about the legal struggle of third-party candidates to gain access to political ballots across the U.S.

Campaigns & Elections magazine is an insider’s guide to politics. Although much of its online content requires a subscription, it offers free informative materials under the “Resources” and “Web Content” headings. “Resources” lists dozens of links to other political sites and a political jobline.

The Center for Voting and Democracy advocates electoral reforms such as proportional voting and direct election of the president. Under the “Reports” heading, many of the organization’s reports and policy proposals are published. The site is targeted at those wishing to change the electoral system in the U.S., so it is best suited for candidates with similar views. However, some of its research reports may be of interest to a wider audience, and include such topics as Washington D.C.’s exclusion from presidential primaries.

The Century Foundation’s Reform Election Project also advocates for electoral reform, but it includes technical and legal resource guides and Q&As under the “Issues” heading on a range of topics such as voter registration databases, provisional ballots, and the Help America Vote Act, signed into law in 2002. The “News & Opinion” section provides voting and electoral news from across the country. The “Links” section is also helpful, and offers links to some of the top web resources for political advocacy and research, and official government websites.


Project Vote Smart’s “Guide to Political Parties

Third Party News:

Ballot Access News:

Campaigns & Elections magazine:

The Center for Voting and Democracy:

Reform Elections Project from The Century Foundation: