Help for Voters
Get Information, Not Distortions
Here is a very eager statement prepared for Progress Report readers, by one of our favorite sources of calm, factual information useful to voters. Between now and Election Day, you should visit www.vote-smart.org many times, and get your free copy of the Voter's Self-Defense Manual.
When was the last time you saw a candidate stand up in front of the American public and say something of substance that you felt you could actually trust? Or heard a campaign promise you could believe? Instead of shaking your fist at the television, check out Project Vote Smart (PVS) – a small place with a huge civic conscience. Project Vote Smart is creating a spin-free zone that any citizen -- liberal or conservative -- can use for 'just the facts' on more than 40,000 candidates and incumbents.
A non-partisan research center, PVS is collecting factual information on over 40,000 candidates and elected officials -- presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative. The Project compiles candidate issue positions, campaign contributions, backgrounds, voting records, key-word searchable public statements and speeches, and evaluations done by special interest groups, as well as ballot measures and how to register and vote. It is a virtual one-stop shopping center for political information, accessible free of charge on the web at www.vote-smart.org, by calling the toll-free Voter's Research Hotline (888-VOTE SMART), and in a free publication called the Voter's Self-Defense Manual. All you need to know to get the facts on your candidates and representatives is your zip code and the issues that concern you.
Project Vote Smart is funded solely through foundation grants and the contributions of more than 46,000 members. In fact, the Project does not accept support from corporate, business, labor, or any other special interests that may lobby government at any level on any issue. The Project does not support or oppose any cause, issue or party. Founded in 1992 by [former] Presidents Carter and Ford, and Senators Goldwater and McGovern and other national leaders, the current board includes such ideological opposites as John McCain and Geraldine Ferraro, Newt Gingrich and Michael Dukakis. The diversity of the board, along with a dedicated staff, volunteers and interns from all over the world, all of whom vow to “check their politics at the door,” maintain the Project's non-partisanship in both reality and perception.
Unless you feel confident voting for a candidate based solely on the way he or she smiles for the camera, you will learn something meaningful about the candidate behind that smile by checking out all factual, trustworthy, and relevant facts PVS has gathered about them. For information in print, call the Hotline or go online to order a free copy of the 2004 Voter's Self-Defense Manual.
Project Vote Smart's Voter's Self-Defense System is a step towards a return to the democratic process our founding fathers envisioned: voters who would have access to factual information about their candidates and representatives, who would be able to make wise, informed choices among candidates.
As James Madison wrote, “A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy ... a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
Don't just vote, Vote Smart.
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