FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Tuesday, May 5, 1998
Contact: Kim Alexander or Saskia Mills -- (916) 325-2120
Brian Smith or Christine Triano, (415) 543-7770

1998 CALIFORNIA ONLINE VOTER GUIDE
DEBUTS ON THE NET


The California Voter Foundation‚s Newest Election Resource
Puts Voters in the Driver‚s Seat


Sacramento -- The California Voter Foundation today launched its 1998 California Online Voter Guide, packed with election information and designed to give voters the tools they need to make informed decisions at the polls. The guide features information and links for all statewide races and ballot measures, as well as congressional and state legislative races. The site can be found at:

http://www.calvoter.org

The non-partisan California Online Voter Guide offers voters and journalists a convenient and valuable alternative to television commercials and campaign mailers, and gives California voters control over when and how they get information for the June 2nd Primary election. The California Online Voter Guide will be updated regularly and revised for the General election in November.

"Big-budget television ads don't give voters enough information to make these important decisions," said Kim Alexander, President of the California Voter Foundation and editor of the guide. "Going to a web site puts voters in the driver's seat and provides an alternative to campaign hit pieces and 30 second TV spots. This year candidates realize the Internet is no longer a novelty, but a necessity for a campaign. An astounding 80 percent of statewide candidates already have their own site and www.calvoter.org brings it all together in one place."

Since 1994, the California Voter Foundation has applied new technologies to improve civic participation. "This is our fourth statewide voter guide and ninth web site," explains Alexander. „Over the past four years the California Voter Foundation has amassed a huge amount of data on California elections and politics. This technology makes it much easier to hold politicians accountable at election time."

This year's California Online Voter Guide is more useful than ever and includes candidate contact information, ballot measure summaries, an extensive collection of campaign and election-related links, a guide to judicial elections and much more. „The California Online Voter Guide provides quick access to vital election information and links in a useful, time-saving format -- it‚s an essential bookmark for any voter or journalist,„ said Alexander.

On June 2, California voters will cast ballots in 52 Congressional races, 100 state legislative races and nine statewide office races, in addition to making decisions on nine ballot measures and numerous local issues and races. „Voters want to make informed choices, but California‚s complex ballot can be overwhelming and many voters just don‚t have time to sort through it all. Our site empowers voters by providing independent information accessible 24 hours a day.š

In 1996, an estimated one million Californians used the Internet to find election information. In the 1996 general election CVF‚s Internet guide logged more than 33,000 visits and 200,000 document retrievals. Useage rates are expected to continue increasing dramatically with so many newly wired households, businesses and libraries in the state. More people are already looking to CVF for election information - last month an average of six megabytes of data was being downloaded from the site on a daily basis.

Also released today was CVF‚s Easy Reading Voter Guide, a 16-page pamphlet which serves as a companion to the Online Voter Guide, produced in conjunction with the League of Women Voters, the California Secretary of State, and the State Library. More than 300,000 copies of the print guide are being distributed in multiple languages to voters through libraries, newspapers and civic groups throughout the state.

The California Voter Foundation is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization applying new technologies to provide the public with free, timely and convenient access to the information needed to participate in public life in a meaningful way. For more information, visit CVF‚s web site at www.calvoter.org, email info@calvoter.org or call (916) 325-2120.

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