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FAQs | Installation & Setup | Contact


FAQs

Q: What Features Are Included?

A: We’re constantly adding on new features. This is not an exhaustive list, but as of September 2020, we include:

    • Vote Index, Total Score, or Letter Grade Scoring
    • Color coded scoring (optional)
    • Color selection for headlines, name backgrounds, and hyperlinks
    • Search for legislators by address or city
    • Search for legislators by name
    • Filtering by district, party, and chamber
    • Current legislator contact info
    • Voting record for each legislator with links to the most recent bills they’ve been active on
    • A link to a legislator’s full, public BillTrack50 profile
    • Customize your default sorting by score, district, or alphabetical
    • Comments section for each bill
    • Ability to turn table columns on/off on legislator pages.
    • 2 optional text widgets in the sidebar where you can enter in your own copy and links
  • Background image customization
  • Sponsor column on each legislator pages to show what bills a legislator sponsored

Q: What Additional Features Are Planned?

2020 planned development iteration includes:

  • Federal scorecard usability improvements
  • Mobile improvements to legislator page tables

Contact us for any feature suggestions.

Q: Do You Have Examples of Organizations Using This Plugin?

A: Definitely. View our case studies for live examples of the plugin and to read how our scorecard has directly gained the attention of legislators.

For a Federal / Congressional Scorecards example: See the National Parks Action Fund’s 2020 Congressional Scorecard.

Q: What Scoring Options Are Included

A: Vote Index, Total Scores, or Letter Grading. For any of these options, you can set color-coded ranges.

Vote Index scores are percentage based, so they will display as 0-100 in the scorecard.

Total Scores are the total number of points and can display as positive or negative scores in the scorecard.

Letter Grading is based on the Vote Index scores. We then calculate those into letter grades for you. You can choose any scoring range for any letter grade.

Q: How many years of scorecards can I have?

A: One year comes with the default plugin. When purchasing, you can choose to upgrade to a multi-year subscription. Once upgraded, multiple years will display as tabs at the top of each individual legislator’s page only.

Q: Can you do lifetime scoring?

A: Yes, when purchasing, you can choose to upgrade to a multi-year subscription that includes lifetime scoring. Once upgraded, lifetime scoring will display on each individual legislator’s page. We have not built this feature to display on landing page yet. See the National Parks Action Fund’s 2020 Congressional Scorecard for an example of lifetime scoring.

Q: Can you display both state and federal scorecards?

A: Yes. We pull in whatever data you have added to your BillTrack50 scorecard.

For state scorecards examples: See our Case Studies page.

For a Federal / Congressional Scorecards example: See the National Parks Action Fund’s 2020 Congressional Scorecard.

Q: Can I use this without a BillTrack50 account?

A: No. you must have a BillTrack50 account to use this plugin. It requires a BillTrack50 API key, which you can request directly from BillTrack50.

Q: Is this plugin only for WordPress websites?

A: Currently, yes. However, we can create a hosted WordPress microsite that houses the scorecard, if you’d like to use it. Also, we are actively working on integrating this into other platforms as well. If you would like to request a platform, please contact us.

Q: How are you affiliated with BillTrack50?

A: While we get regular feedback and input from BillTrack50, we are separate entities. Please contact us for issues, support, or feature requests for this plugin.

Q: Do you offer discounts for non-profits?

A: The vast majority of our customers are non-profits, so our pricing is set accordingly. However, we do offer a free fundraising toolkit that non-profits may use.

Q: Who do we contact for support or feature requests?

A: Contact the plugin developers directly.

 


Installation & Setup


Q: How to Set Up a Scorecard on BillTrack50

It’s easy to choose bills by keyword and set up a scorecard. Watch how.

Q: WordPress Theme Requirements

A: Your theme must have a full-width template of 960px wide or wider to display this scorecard. If you don’t have one included, you could look at creating a child theme to add one.

We do not recommend using a page template that includes a sidebar, because our plugin comes with a built-in sidebar.

Q: System Requirements

A: We recommend the same system requirements as WordPress: PHP v5.6+, MySQL v5.5+ and the latest version of WordPress.

Q: How do I install this plugin?

A: See our installation instructions.

Q: The scorecard keeps showing a loading symbol and the scorecard fields in the WordPress admin ARE greyed out.

A: Back up your site. Then set the WordPress permalink structure to ‘post-name’. Here’s an example.

Q: The scorecard keeps showing a loading symbol and the scorecard fields in the WordPress admin are NOT greyed out.

A: Go to BillTrack50.com and log into your account. If you’re not able to log in and view your bills, then BillTrack50 is likely down. Please let your contact at BillTrack50 know. Otherwise, if you are able to log into BillTrack50 and view bills, contact our team instead.

Q: It’s the start of the new session and my legislators aren’t displaying.

A: Legislator votes determine which legislators your scorecard grades and includes. If you’ve changed your scorecard to a new session, no legislators will show because they haven’t made any votes yet. To solve this, contact BillTrack50 and have them add a dummy bill in your BillTrack50 scorecard with a vote for each legislator. Once you get House and Senate votes, you can remove this dummy bill.

Q: It’s the start of the new session and I only have votes for House members.

A: It likely means the bill has been voted on in the House, but not the Senate yet. You can view that bill’s current status in the detail section of the individual BillTrack50 bill.

Q: Some legislator headshots are missing.

A: For new legislators, their headshots will pull in once they have cast a vote that has been pulled into your scorecard. If they do not display, contact us.

Q: All legislator headshots are missing.

A: Contact us.

Q: Some legislators are still missing after the above issues are resolved.

A: Please contact us. Include your website url, a WordPress administrator login, and the names of the missing legislators.

Q: A legislator is no longer in office, but I still want to show them in my scorecard.

A: Log into BillTrack50 and go to your scorecard. Edit your scorecard’s settings via the ‘Manage’ tab to include out of office legislators in the scorecard.

 


Learn More

Organizations who use our scorecard report that legislators regularly check it and communication with them on core issues. Our scorecards have been featured in the news, podcasts, and Ballotpedia. Please contact us to learn more about how we are helping organizations get the attention of legislators.