As many of you know, the 2008 U.S. political conventions--two weeks of party business that begins for the Democrats in Denver today, and for the Republicans in Minneapolis next week--marks the beginning of the general election season. To help you stay informed and engaged in the upcoming election, we're launching a one-stop shop for political information:

Can't make it to Denver or Minneapolis? Go to our conventions site to view the latest news, videos, photos and blog posts. See what the candidates are saying about the issues that concern you by using Elections Video Search, which lets you search across all of the candidate speeches and videos by word. If you want to see what the Obama or McCain campaigns and other political journalists are reading, check out Power Readers in Politics and subscribe to get daily snippets. You can also interact with a wide variety of political mash-ups in the Google Maps Elections Gallery. If you're a teacher, inform your students about the political process with our Election Toolkit for Teachers. If you happen to be running for office yourself, or are blogging about various campaigns, go to our Campaign Toolkit to find out how you can use online tools to raise money, follow the campaign trail or spread your influence.

And as election day grows closer, we're working on ways for you to find local voter registration sites or polling places on demand -- stay tuned for more details on that.

We're excited to be a part of this exciting election season, where technology is playing a groundbreaking role in connecting candidates and voters.

Posted by Rick Klau and Brittany Bohnet, Google Elections Team