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Finally, one of my hopes is that Obama will push for online budgets for government entities. I think following money-trails could be very helpful for public scrutiny. What I do know is for it to be accessible and transparent, some common language and ease-of-use techniques would have to be developed. I envision budgets starting at the federal level organized by outline and hyperlink. For instance the federal government might start with key budget areas as defined by the constitution: defense, social welfare, etc, These headings would have a total amount and be hyperlinked to subcategories like state funding, agency funding, project funding, etc. These, too, would have totals and be hyperlinked to subcategories, and so on. Such an organization would allow voters to really see where are tax dollars are working. If states and local governments created similar structures, then it would be quite transparent and accessible.
Something like what we are seeing here on the transition team's site would be very useful at the local government level. If voters could read documents that are being submitted to city and county offices, see dates when meetings will be held, hold online conversations to discuss local issues. These could be useful tools for informing and mobilizing local voter-ship and would serve to make local government more transparent and accessible.
Local voting can be difficult. I have experienced what you describe when trying to figure out who the judges are that I am supposed to vote for. Many of my friends have been shocked to discover that the little ditties in the voter's pamphlets have to be paid for by the candidate, which is why judges and such seldom post any information. As Kimi points out, the League of Women Voters could be a great place to volunteer to help get this type of information more readily available. Maybe that is a place to start.