For Immediate Release
Tuesday, October 6, 1998

For more information, contact:
Kim Alexander or Saskia Mills
(916) 325-2120



NEW CALIFORNIA ONLINE VOTER GUIDE
DEBUTS ON THE NET


Web site helps voters „follow the moneyš

Sacramento -- Today the California Voter Foundation launched its new edition of the California Online Voter Guide, a non-partisan web site packed with election information and designed to give voters the tools they need to make informed decisions on November 3rd. The guide features information covering California‚s statewide races and measures, as well as the state‚s 52 congressional and 100 legislative races. The guide, now in its fifth edition, can be found at:

http://www.calvoter.org

„Many voters won‚t settle for last-minute hit pieces and thirty-second sound bites,š said Kim Alexander, President of the California Voter Foundation (CVF) and editor of the guide. „We build our voter guides for those Californians who truly want to make informed choices. Now, thanks to the Internet, they can -- and do,š she added, noting that thousands of voters used CVF‚s 1998 Primary guide, which logged more than a quarter of a million page retrievals during the Primary election season.

CVF‚s new voter guide is bigger and better than ever. It includes more than 300 web pages and over 200 links to California campaign web sites. The site features contact information for all California state and federal campaigns, easy-to-read summaries of the twelve state ballot measures, and „Follow the Moneyš, a new feature offering campaign finance data summaries that list the top ten contributors to every statewide campaign, plus much more.

In addition, CVF, in partnership with Compaq‚s Corporate Research Labs in Palo Alto, will soon offer a California Campaign Finance Database on the Internet. The database is made possible thanks to the Online Disclosure Act of 1997, passed last year by the California Legislature, which requires all statewide candidates and ballot measure campaigns that raise or spend $100,000 or more to file their disclosure reports on computer disk as well as paper.

California‚s November ballot includes high-profile contests for Governor and U.S. Senate as well as several big-money initiatives dealing with Indian gaming, electric deregulation and tobacco taxes. „Using our voter guide, voters can easily follow the money and discover who‚s funding these candidates and measures,š Alexander said. CVF‚s online contributions are part of the organization‚s continuing efforts to shed „digital sunlightš and insure the public has immediate Internet access to campaign finance data.

The California Online Voter Guide is a free web site that features simple graphics and includes no paid advertisements, ensuring visitors can easily navigate through the site and quickly find what they need.

„People are busy, and don‚t have the time to find all the information needed to make informed, confident choices,š Alexander said. „Our web site pulls together a wide variety of information and offers it up in one place accessible 24 hours a day on the Internet. Voters can rely on CVF‚s California Online Voter Guide to help them sort through the confusing and complex ballot issues and make sense of this year‚s election.š

The California Online Voter Guide will be updated regularly throughout the General election season. CVF has produced the guide since 1994, and offers an archive of previous editions at the organization‚s web site as well. CVF‚s voter education and Internet disclosure efforts are supported with contributions from the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, the Gerbode Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Columbia Foundation and the Piper Fund.

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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