It’s been a few months since I’ve published any new pieces, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been ignoring the website or new research. I wanted to provide a quick update on some of the things I’ve been working on, so you know what to expect in the near future.
- I’ve started collecting county-level election results on federal, statewide, and (for the first time) state legislative races back to 2000. I’ve been testing different ways to speed up the process of putting this information into the database, but it’s still a very time-consuming effort. Hopefully by early 2020, the election results for recent history will be a lot more robust, with new ways to quickly analyze data across counties for the first time..
- For the last few years, I’ve worked with the Legislative Services Agency to help them clean up some of the data in their Legislator Database. Recently, they provided me with their data file, which means for the first time I can easily add things like date of birth, occupation, and more to the database. This will really open up the information available and sortable to analyze who served in the Indiana General Assembly. But here’s the tricky part: I have to match up their 6,500+ records to my own 10,000 records. That will take a lot of time, so…
- I’ve already started the process of adding in this sort of information only for women legislators. That’s because next year is the Centennial for Women’s Suffrage. I’ve been working with Indiana Humanities (who are big supporters of this website and often cross-publish my posts) and some other organizations on some research about Hoosier women in office. I’m most excited at looking at things like the age and occupation of the women who have served in our legislature, and how that has changed over time (as well as finding fun facts like who the youngest woman to serve was, how the length of service for women has evolved, and more). Stay tuned as I expect to start putting some of that out very soon.
- Similarly, at the end of the summer my work on this website led to a few other writing opportunities. The Indiana Historical Society will soon be publishing a book about the Indiana State Appellate Court, and I had the opportunity to research and write a biographical essay about Fred Wiecking, the only state appellate judge to come from Wells County (where I was born and raised). Additionally, the book Politics for Dummies was written by well-known Hoosier Ann DeLany. The publisher recently asked her to do an updated edition for 2020, and she asked me to help with some parts of it. That was an unexpected and unique experience, and you can pre-order the book on Amazon here.
- Finally, I’ve spent a lot of time the past several months working with Bill Moreau to help launch a group he founded called the Indiana Citizen. We’re going to spend 2020 focused on increasing voter turnout in Indiana in a nonpartisan way. You can learn more about the effort, and how you can get involved, through that website, or be reading the extensive recent news coverage of our launch here, here, here, here and here.
Things have been busy, but look for new posts soon!