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The campaign for the November 2018 elections are over but that hasn’t stopped people from keeping political arguments alive, even if the interest no longer is at an election season pace.

Walker McKusick, at the Des Moines Vote Smart office. Credit: Lyle Muller/IowaWatch

Vote Smart, the Des Moines-based organization that researches and posts online the votes, public statements and issues of interest to politicians in all 50 U.S. states remains busy because of interest in politics. Other popular websites with political information are FollowTheMoney.org from Montana and Open Secrets in Washington, D.C., which track campaign spending.

The interest is not as high as during the political season but still exists, Vote Smart officials said. Topping the list of topics people show interest in are gun control, abortion, border security, voting rights, taxes and spending. People check on how state legislators perform while in office but also what interest groups are up to, Walker McKusick, Vote Smart’s national director, said.

On average, 15,500 people check in on Vote Smart’s information database each day. That use spikes during elections; the average was 60,500 per day from Labor Day until Election Day in 2018, McKusick said. On Election Day, some 700,000 people used Vote Smart’s site for information, he said.

Peter McLaughlin, elections research director, Vote Smart

Driving the interest after the election can be elected officials but, especially, interest groups, Peter McLaughlin, director of elections research at Vote Smart, said.

“Candidates, their goal is going to be to get elected again, so as soon as they start their job as officials everything they do is, obviously, going to be done with the idea of potentially being re-elected again in the future,” McLaughlin said.

“In election-time, we see interest groups endorsing candidates that they want to get voted into office. And that effort doesn’t really change as you move from elections into a normal legislative session.”

Annie Petersen, supervisor for Key Votes, at Vote Smart Credit: Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
Thomas Stone, legislative research associate, Vote Smart Credit: Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
Emily Harris, elections research associate, Vote Smart Credit: Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
David Babayev, political research associate, Vote Smart Credit: Lyle Muller/IowaWatch

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