Lucy Burns Institute

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Lucy Burns Institute
Motto "Connecting people to politics"
Formation 2006
Type Educational
Legal status Non-profit
Purpose "To empower our audience to engage in democracy by delivering exceptionally high quality information."[1]
Headquarters 8383 Greenway Blvd S.600
Coordinates 43°03′59″N 89°23′20″W / 43.0665°N 89.3888°W / 43.0665; -89.3888Coordinates: 43°03′59″N 89°23′20″W / 43.0665°N 89.3888°W / 43.0665; -89.3888
Region served
United States
Leslie Graves
Key people
Board of Directors:
Tim Dunn
Affiliations Ballotpedia
Revenue (2013)

The Lucy Burns Institute (LBI) is an American nonprofit, nonpartisan[4][5] educational organization. Founded in 2006, LBI publishes Ballotpedia, an online wiki-style encyclopedia about the U.S. political and judicial systems.[6][7][8] Per the non-profit's 2012 tax return, the organization grew in revenues from $20k in 2008 to $1,578,000 in 2012 and raised $3.98 million in total over those five years.[9]


LBI was founded in December 2006 by the group's current president, Leslie Graves.[3][10][11] The group is named after Lucy Burns, co-founder of the National Woman's Party.[12] The group is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. LBI publishes Ballotpedia, an online wiki-style encyclopedias about American politics and the American judiciary. It covers the U.S. Congress, state executive officials, state legislatures, ballot measures, recall elections, school board elections, candidate ballot access, public policy, municipal government, federal and state judiciaries.[12][13] Ballotpedia has been referenced in Politico,[14] the Washington Times,[15] the Wall Street Journal,[16] the Washington Post,[17] the Chicago Tribune,[7] the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,[18] and Bloomberg Businessweek.[19]

The Wall Street Journal described Ballotpedia as "a nonpartisan organization that collects election data."[20] According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Ballotpedia publishes "nonprofit wiki encyclopedias that use nonpartisan collaboration to gather political info for sharing."[21] The Las Vegas Review-Journal described LBI as "a Wisconsin-based nonprofit that promotes education about local government."[22]


In 2012, LBI published a study analyzing the quality of official state voter guides based on six criteria. According to the study, only nine states were rated “excellent” or “very good," while 24 states received a “fair” or “poor” rating.[4]

LBI published a guide called Local Ballot Initiatives: How Citizens Change Laws with Clipboards, Conversations, and Campaigns, in November 2012. The booklet provides an overview of how individual citizens can use the initiative process at the local level.[citation needed]

In May 2014, the Center for American Progress used Ballotpedia data to analyze the immigration policy stances of Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives.[23]


  1. ^ "Our Mission". Lucy Burns Institute. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Organizational ProfileNational Center for Charitable Statistics (Urban Institute)
  3. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions". Lucy Burns Institute. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Scott, Dylan (2012-09-14). "States Have Room for Improvement in Voter Guides". Governing Magazine. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Mahtesian, Charles (2012-10-16). "The best races you've never heard of". Politico. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Povich, Elaine (2014-06-10). "Lawmakers Defer to Voters on Tax, Budget Issues". Stateline (The Pew Charitable Trusts). Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Illinois elections officials need to side with voters". Chicago Tribune. 2014-05-30. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Christensen, Lance (2014-07-22). "Lucy Burns Institute Launches Policypedia". Reason Foundation. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Form 990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax: Lucy Burns Institute".  (Available at using a free account.)(
  10. ^ Mildenberg, David (2-8-2012). "El Paso Mayor Fighting Ouster on Gay Rights Vote Counts Rising Legal Bill". Bloomberg. Retrieved 11 August 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ Murphy, Bruce (6-12-2004). "The mystery of Eric O'Keefe". Isthmus. Retrieved 11 August 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ a b "Nonprofit Group Offers Free Judicial Profiles Online at". Metropolitan News-Enterprise. 2009-12-21. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Ballotpedia:About". Ballotpedia. Lucy Burns Institute. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  14. ^ Weinger, Mackenzie (8/5/2014). "Maruca: Companies should not fear OECD BEPS project — So what’s next for the IRS LB&I division? — Missouri to vote on raising taxes". Politico. Retrieved 10 August 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ Howell, Kellan (2014-07-10). "Nude photos of Kendall Jones reportedly sought by Virginia Democrat". Washington Times. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  16. ^ Moore, Stephen (11/5/2013). "Ten Election Day Ballot Measures". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 August 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  17. ^ Weiner, Rachel (2012-08-08). "The death of the Kansas moderate?". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  18. ^ Wingfield, Kyle (2014-04-09). "Are Georgia Republicans mostly satisfied with the taxes they pay? Hmmm". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  19. ^ Oldham, Jennifer (4272014). "Colorado Pot Vote Prompts Ballot Push on Guns, Fracking". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 10 August 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  20. ^ Seib, Gerald (2013-09-23). "How to Understand House Republicans". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  21. ^ McGraw, Carol (2013-10-14). "Amendment 66 deemed a big issue nationally". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  22. ^ Spillman, Benjamin (2013-07-29). "Cost to appeal Las Vegas Planning Commission decision called prohibitive". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  23. ^ Fernandez, Henry; Wolgin, Philip (2014-05-19). "House Republicans Have Nothing to Fear from Supporting Immigration Reform". Center for American Progress. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 

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