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Gazette Opinion: Here's a Web tool to communicate with smart voters

July 10, 2006View for printing

In the next four months, Montana voters will hear more than they want to about some political candidates -- especially bad things from political opponents. Voters here and around the nation won't be getting much issue information from candidates -- unless they insist on it and seek it out.

Project Vote Smart http://www.vote-smart.org was founded as a bipartisan effort to inform voters about candidates' position on important public issues. The nonprofit organization has its headquarters in Philipsburg, but its Web site logged nearly 16 million hits per day from voters nationwide in the 2004 election campaign. Project President Richard Kimball predicts use of the Web site will grow to 30 million hits daily before the 2006 general elections.

One would think that those hoping to win a public office would welcome an opportunity to provide voters throughout the state with easy, instant access to their views. However, in previous election cycles major party leaders have advised candidates not to answer the issue-oriented questions that Project Vote Smart asks of every congressional and state legislative candidate. Some candidates have expressed fear that their issue answers may be used against them.

Full Story: http://www.billingsgazette.net/artic ... opinion.txt

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Related Story: Project Vote Smart of Philipsburg, MT to expand at the University of Arizona. U of M apparently not interested in assisting with expansion plans. http://www.matr.net/article-19734.html
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