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Frequently Asked Questions

How does a legislative scorecard work?

Organizations choose bills that align with their interests and enter a positive, neutral or negative rating for each bill. When a legislator votes for or against a bill, they receive positive, zero or negative points. Then we divide the points possible by the points they received and assign a score for the legislator.

Learn more about How to Build a Legislative Scorecard

Why do advocacy groups use legislative scorecards?

Internally, scorecards provide easy to interpret summaries of what new legislation is proposed and how legislators are voting.

Publicly, they're used as educative tools for voters. On average, more than 109,000 bills are introduced in state legislatures each year. Most voters don't have the time to find and follow all of the proposed legislation that may affect them, but they know scorecards they typically align with. So it's an easy way for users to quickly find legislation that they may want to research further before contacting their legislator or hitting the ballot box.

What features are included?

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

  • Vote Index, Vote Index with Bonus, Total Score, or Letter Grade Scoring
  • Color coded scoring
  • Search for your representatives by address
  • Sort and filtering by party, chamber, name, and score
  • Congressional Scorecards include State filtering a clickable US Map
  • State Scorecards include District filtering
  • Customizable default sorting by score, alphabetically, state or district
  • Customizable background image
  • Customizable Send Message button on legislator pages

Legislator-specific Features

  • Voting record with links to the most recent bills with activity
  • Bill sponsorship info on each legislator profile
  • A link to a legislator’s full, public BillTrack50 profile containing recent bills they voted on, Sponsored Bills, Votes, Committees, Staff, and Biography. See this legislator’s example.
  • Current legislator contact info
  • Official legislator headshots, updated annually
  • Printable legislator pages (black and white)

Bill-specific Features

Any of these bill features can be easily turned on/off to match your preferences. For an example of most of these features turned on, visit Rep. Greg Vitali on ACLU-PA’s scorecard.

  • Comments section for each bill with link to more information about the bill
  • Bill Number, Bill Name, Score, Date, Motion, Vote information.
  • Categories
  • Position: Positive Bills show a Support position. Negative Bills show an Oppose position. Bills without scores show a Neutral position.

Learn more about our scorecard features.

What additional features are planned?

2022 planned development iteration includes:

  • Printable legislator pages - Launched!
  • Customizable Send Message button on legislator pages - Launched!
  • Mobile improvements to legislator profile tables
  • Accounts management system for easy account updates

Learn more about our scorecard features.

How many years of scorecards can I have?

One year comes with the standard plugin. When purchasing, you can choose to upgrade to a multi-year subscription, which enables years from 2011 until today. Once upgraded, multiple years will display as tabs at the top of each individual legislator’s page.

State-level Examples:

Congressional Examples

How many years back can you display data for?

We can display data from 2011 onward, since that’s when BillTrack50’s data starts.

Can I add a different comment on each legislators pages?

Not quite yet, but that’s an incoming 2022 feature. BillTrack50 is working on adding this feature into their API. Once it’s added, then we will add it to our scorecard software too.

Can I use this without a BillTrack50 subscription?

No. You must have a paid BillTrack50 Pro, Unlimited, or Enterprise subscription. BillTrack50 is an affordable Bill Tracking service that monitors and scrapes new bill and votes data.

Our software turns that data into meaningful information for your followers. So it requires a BillTrack50 API key, which you can request directly from BillTrack50.

Is this plugin only for WordPress sites?

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.

How are you affiliated with BillTrack50

While we get regular feedback and input from BillTrack50, we are separate entities.

BillTrack50 is your data source. Their specialty is legislative tracking, so they are your database and backend for all bills and votes data. They include legislation updates 2x per day, alert you daily of legislation changes, and aggregate legislation data from various sources.

We are your web software provider. Our software is a layer on top of BillTrack50. We pull in your bills and votes data from their platform and display it on your website. We provide features, like: Find Your Legislator, search and filtering, and official legislator headshots that they don’t provide.

Do you archive and display historical data for all former legislators who are no longer in office?

If a legislator has left office but made a vote in your most recent scorecard, you can log into BillTrack50 and go to your scorecard. Then edit your scorecard’s settings via the ‘Manage’ tab to include out of office legislators in the scorecard. Then they will display along with any votes they made in previous years, if you’ve purchased our multi-year scorecard. Former legislator headshots will not display.

If are just wanting a historical archive of current and former legislators who were in office in years past, that’s not available in our scorecard.

Do you offer discounts for nonprofits?

The vast majority of our customers are non-profits, so our pricing is set accordingly.

Who do we contact for support or feature requests?

Best legislative scorecard examples

ACLU Pennsylvania

State Scorecard with Lifetime Scoring

Using our scorecard software, this scorecard does a great job of showing how to utilize Bill Comments with links and Categories.

AFL-CIO

Congressional Scorecard

This scorecard shows lifetime vs session score in a nice graph format.

Americans for Prosperity

Congressional Scorecard with Lifetime Scoring

Our partner since 2021, this scorecard includes a state map and legislator biographies.

Human Rights Campaign

Congressional Scorecard

If you're looking for a PDF-only option, this is an easy-to-scan format.

Contact us to setup a Congressional or State Legislative Scorecard for your organization.

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