Project Vote Smart

Project Vote Smart does something the media seems too busy to try to do, it is educating voters. Now I suppose the MSM is no longer interested in reporting the news, but making it, so this burden of the “fourth estate” seems to be dying a quiet death. So where does one go to get information about the candidates?

Certainly we can rely on their own websites to find out where they stand on the issues and their general platform, but is it enough? Most Americans don’t visit candidate websites even though they make the information about the candidate much more widely accessible then it’s been in the past. But, at the same time, a candidates website is also quite biased to, well, the candidate that it supports.

The other issue is the need for sound-bites, that our media has attempted to condense very complicated policy issues down into little tidbits has made it so difficult to truly understand the heart of the matter. Secondly, advertising has also become more of a means to sway votes by fear, patriotism and downright factual distortions. So, then who are people supposed to believe?

Project Vote Smart is attempting to bridge the gap of information from the media to the voter by giving citizens a means to research issues and verify the various claims that candidates make in their advertising and their campaign information. And not only doe Project Vote Smart cover candidates, it gives informatoin regarding ballot measures and ongoing political issues and legislation.

Watch the Vote Smart Video

On common ground at a unique research center high in the Montana Rockies, a struggling group of Americans, who you are unlikely to know and will probably never meet, have begun a battle. A battle to protect all of us from the selfish interests that strip us of the most crucial component in our struggle to self-govern — access to abundant, accurate, and relevant information.

Here at Project Vote Smart, Americans young and old volunteer their time, take no money from special interest groups, and have committed themselves to an extraordinary effort that, if successful, will provide their fellow citizens with the tools for a reemergence of political power not known for half a century. Their idea is one you may have thought of yourself. It is a deceptively simple concept but enormously difficult to achieve and would not be possible without the collaboration of citizens willing to lay their partisan differences aside for this one crucial task.

This project is an historic undertaking. Citizens come together, not in selfish interest or to support one candidate over another, but to defend democracy. It is an extraordinary gathering of people committed to one purpose: to strengthen the most essential component of democracy — access to information — even as it suffers grave attacks from candidates and political parties, many who are now willing to manipulate information and deceive voters.

In essence, what Project Vote Smart’s interns and volunteers have done is ensure that tolerance will no longer be the only option available to the millions of us who are tormented by the issueless rhetoric and often misleading attacks that define contemporary American politics.

Intrigued? I know I am and now there is a chance for those in Orange County to get up close with Project Vote Smart as their purple bus takes a trek across America in an attempts to help inform voters. Project Vote Smart calls this bus the “Nation’s first Voter’s Self-Defense System”. I would say that in today’s current political climate, such a defense system is a must. On February 12th the bus is making it’s way through Orange County.

February 12th – Tuesday- Huntington Beach, CA
Golden West College, 15744 Golden West Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92648 9:00am- 11:30pm
5 Points Shopping Center, 18598 Main Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92648 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Interested in more information? You can visit Project Vote Smart at their web page where they have an abundance of resources at your fingertips.

Heather Irene Justus

My blogging here is not an endorsement of any other opinion but my own. I'm no longer new to blogging, I've been writing locally and nationally since 2007 starting here at the Liberal OC. I was born in New York and grew up in Huntington Beach, CA and currently live in Aliso Viejo. I graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in English and Film and eventually may go back to school, but I'm still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. Until then, I work and write and try to do something useful here in the OC by using the word to point out the things that make me frustrated. It's a daily struggle. Issues that peak my interest the most are environmental (yes, I don't just 'believe" in climate change, I listen to all those whacky scientists), gender and body issues (women deserve equal pay, I'm a feminist too, crazy) to the continuing widening economic gap we are not enjoying here in the US (which ties to education, stagnant wages and debt). So many issues, but those are the top three right now. I am an unabashed corgi lover, nerd and all around strange girl. I am lucky enough to be raising a wonderful daughter as well and enjoying being unmarried.