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Ballotpedia:WikiProject State Executive Officials/Writing guidelines

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Main project page: Ballotpedia:WikiProject State Executive Officials

This is a project page for writing guidelines relating to state executive official articles.
How to write about
state executives
Starting an article (stub)
Blank Example Article
InfoboxIntro sentence
ImagesSee also section
External links and references
General offices:
Intro sentence
Feature - elected or appointed
OfficeholdersSee also section
External links and references
State offices:
InfoboxIntro sentence
Current officeholderAuthority
Historical officeholders
Contact informationSee also section
External links and references
InfoboxIntro sentence
BiographyPolitical career
Elections (Issue positions)
Campaign contributions
See also section
External links and references
Succession boxes
SEO news desk
The project

For quick access, add {{SEO writing}} to your user page.

Terms and definitions

  • Writing guidelines: This term is used to encapsulate the family of content-and-style pages that governs all writing and editing activity for a given Ballotpedia project.
  • {{SEO writing}}: A sidebar navigational template dashboard referred to by staff and other users when seearching for detailed information or instructions for editing articles about state executives. The template displays vertically along the right-hand side of the page and works much like a table of contents, with each "chapter" wikilinked directly to the appropriate writing guideline article. Located at the top of the box, the title link "How to write about state executives" brings you back to the writing guidelines portal page (this page). Beneath it, guidelines are organized into four main categories: Stubs, General offices, State offices and Officials.
  • Stub: A stub is a starter article that contains only the "bones," or minimum-required components of an article within the state executives project. Stubs serve as jumping-off points for articles—i.e. generic summary articles, state-specific positions and officeholders—created with the intention of being expanded into standard-quality articles as time and available information permit. Stubs can also function as placeholders for articles which may not necesssarily be marked for future content-expansion. When a writer encounters a red link on the wiki, one of the the most efficient and expedient methods of treatment is to create a stub article out of the red-linked page. If you are holding off on starting an article until more time or substantial information becomes available, remember: a stub article that adheres to the project's writing guidelines is always preferable to a red link.
  • Racetracking: Ballotpedia provides a racetracking service for governors, lieutenant governors, attorneys general and secretaries of state as part of its election coverage of state executive offices. For each of the state races, the expected outcome is displayed in one of seven classifications: Safe Democrat, Likely Democrat, Leans Democrat, Toss-up, Leans Republican, Likely Republican and Safe Republican.
  • Chester Copperpot: This page is a content-and-style guide designed to streamline the process of building and expanding articles about incumbents, candidates, offices, elections, etc. within the state executives project. It provides blank example articles and code installations for standardized, individual components. Examples found on this page are to be copied and pasted at the writer's convenience.


A stub (starter) should include the following:

  1. Infobox
  2. Introductory sentence
  3. See also section
  4. External links and references
  5. Categories
  6. Templates
  7. Stub template: {{Seo stub}}

Overview office article

Example = Governor. Components, in order:

  1. Introductory sentence
  2. Officeholders
  3. Term limits
  4. Vacancies
  5. Feature - elected or appointed
  6. See also section
  7. External links and references
  8. Templates
  9. Categories

State office profiles

Example = Governor of Arizona. Components, in order:

  1. Infobox
  2. Introductory sentence
  3. Current officeholder
  4. Authority
  5. Qualifications
  6. Elections
  7. Vacancies
  8. Duties
  9. Divisions
  10. Compensation
  11. Former officeholders
  12. Contact information
  13. See also section
  14. External links and references
  15. Templates
  16. Categories

Incumbent profiles

Example = Christine Gregoire. Components, in order:

  1. Infobox
  2. Introductory sentence
  3. Biography
  4. Political career
  5. Elections
    1. Campaign themes
  6. Campaign donors
  7. See also section
  8. External links and references
  9. Succession boxes
  10. Templates
  11. Categories


Example = Niki Bird Papazoglakis. Components, in order:

  1. Infobox
  2. Introductory sentence
  3. Biography
  4. Elections
    1. Campaign themes
  5. See also section
  6. External links and references
  7. Templates
  8. Categories


For specific details about election articles and related writing guidelines, visit Ballotpedia:WikiProject State Executive Officials/Election articles.

For election racetracking methodology, click here.

Start a page

Enter a headline below to start an article. From more information, see our introductory tutorial.


Auditors: executive vs. legislative

State offices vary from state to state. In particular, for auditors some states classify the office as a state executive office, while in others they are a legislative office. While both offices are similar in function, a legislative auditor functions primarily under the state legislature.

State executive offices, on the other hand, represent a state's executive branch, charged with implementing and enforcing the laws made by state legislatures. The governor is the chief executive of a state's government, and other executive officers ordinarily report to him or her.

Ballotpedia has identified 20 legislative auditor offices and 38 state executive auditor offices. A total of seven states have both auditor offices.

For state executive auditors, follow the writing guidelines on THIS page. For state legislative auditors follow the writing guidelines HERE.

States with legislative auditors include:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasColoradoConnecticutFloridaIdahoKansasLouisianaMarylandMinnesotaMontanaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyPennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaWest Virginia

States with state executive auditors include:

AlabamaArkansasCaliforniaDelawareGeorgiaHawaiiIllinoisIndiana - state auditorIndiana - state examinerIowaKentuckyMaineMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMissouriMississippiMontanaNebraskaNew MexicoNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming - state auditorWyoming - audit director

States with both legislative and state executive auditors:

AlabamaMinnesotaMontanaPennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaWest Virginia