An accessible collection of campaign material will help hold candidates and campaigns accountable.
I’ve started a collection of Kansas political campaign material such as mailers, palm cards, handouts, and door hangers. This collection could be valuable in holding candidates of all parties accountable for their words. Independent organizations may advocate for or against candidates and ballot measures, and these need to be held accountable, too.
It can be difficult to gather campaign material. Some is mailed or distributed only to small geographic districts. Or, material is mailed only to voters with certain characteristics, such as party registration or voting consistency. Unless you live in a “blended” household (with voters of different political parties), you may never see many campaign mailers. While some campaigns may make their mailers or similar material available on their websites or Facebook pages, it’s not common that the negative mail pieces — the ones that often contain the type of distortions that need to be exposed — are publicized by campaigns. (That may say something about negative campaigning.)
You may view the material here.
There are several ways to contribute to the repository.
On your computer. A useful and valuable extension for Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome browsers is FireShot. It will save partial or entire web pages in a variety of formats, including pdf.
Printed material. The traditional scanner still makes the best captures. But now many people have a document capture system in their pocket and carry it with them at all times. It’s their smartphones. For information about using smartphones to capture documents, see Your smartphone is your activism toolkit. It’s not difficult to create valuable captures if you have the right app on your smartphone.
Signs, etc. Take a photograph. It’s useful to take a wide shot to show context, and then a close-up to see the detail.
You may send me digital files at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you can send me postal mail at 2451 Regency Lakes Ct., Wichita, KS 67226. I won’t be able to return material you send me unless you include return postage.
Before capturing and distributing material that has your name and address (or other personal information) consider obliterating it with a marker or scissors.