Web Archiving Local Election and Government Websites

Julia Ezzo, Ed Busch, Elisa Landaverde, Jessica Martin, Lydia Tang

Abstract


Local election and political websites are highly ephemeral due to their nature, especially for losing candidates. Thus, they are highly vulnerable to loss from the historical record. A survey during Spring 2019 of previously captured web archives on the Archive.org website showed a scarcity of captured websites for local governmental and political elections in Michigan. The University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library currently captures websites related to the Governor, Michigan senators, and some congress members. However, less high-profile candidates were not being captured. As such, many websites from the 2018 midterm elections are vulnerable to loss. Furthermore, 2020 held a presidential election as well as many local elections, and with these campaigns, political websites hosting valuable candidate information were put up on the web for a limited time. Preserving content from these websites could be of great value for future researchers.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/dttp.v49i3/4.7685

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