FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 1996
CONTACT: Kim Alexander
1996 CALIFORNIA ONLINE VOTER GUIDE DEBUTS ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB
SACRAMENTO -- Today the California Voter Foundation unveiled the 1996 California Online Voter Guide, a new, non-partisan World Wide Web site designed to help California voters make informed choices in the upcoming March Primary election. The guide can be accessed through the California Voter Foundation's (CVF) home page at:
The voter guide was produced in partnership with California Secretary of State Bill Jones, who also unveiled two new web sites: the 1996 California Primary Election Server, which will feature live returns on election night (http://www.primary96.ca.gov) and the California Secretary of State Home Page (http://www.ss.ca.gov).
At a news conference at the Secretary of State's office in Sacramento, Kim Alexander, CVF's executive director, demonstrated how voters can use the 1996 California Online Voter Guide to find information about statewide ballot measures as well as Presidential, congressional, legislative and local candidates running in California.
"Many voters want to make informed choices, but they lack access to the information they need in order to do so. Our guide gives voters a convenient way to access thousands of pages worth of information from a variety of sources," Alexander said.
The 1996 California Online Voter Guide is the third Internet election site produced by the California Voter Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit organization based in Sacramento. In 1994, CVF produced its first online guide, which was accessed 14,000 times and registered over 36,000 file retrievals. In 1995, CVF produced the San Francisco Online Voter Guide, which featured the first Internet database of campaign contributions and expenditures. The San Francisco guide registered over 23,000 file retrievals prior to the election, and was rated by PC Magazine as one of the top 100 web sites of 1995.
"The Internet has grown considerably since CVF's first online voter guide," Alexander said. "Two years ago, our guide was one of just a handful of voter education sites on the Internet. Now, there are literally hundreds of web sites dedicated to the 1996 election, sponsored by campaigns, news organizations, government agencies and other non-profit organizations. Our goal this year is to help California voters make sense of this election and find their way to the information they need as quickly as possible." Alexander noted that voters can access the Internet through work, school or home or their public library.
Some of the information available through the 1996 California Online Voter Guide includes:
CVF and the Secretary of State's office have been working together for several months to ensure that California voters have easy and complete access to election information. "Our partnership with the California Voter Foundation sets an excellent example of how government and non-profits can work together to serve the public," said California Secretary of State Bill Jones, whose office also formed a partnership with Digital Equipment Corp. to develop their Primary Election Server.
- A web page for each of the twelve statewide ballot measures, featuring news articles, information from the State Ballot Pamphlet, and links to campaign-sponsored web pages;
- Links to the home pages for local, state and federal candidates running for office in California and access to other sites that help voters find out which districts they live in;
- Contact information for California's 58 county elections officials, with links to county elections home pages;
- A "Meta-Index" of Internet sites providing information relative to California election issues.
The 1996 California Online Voter Guide is a year-long voter education project funded through private donations. Contributors to date include the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and Intel Corp. CVF is currently developing a new section of the guide that will provide information on judicial contests in California.
Suggestions for web sites to link to can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or faxed to (916) 553-3075.
A full summary of the voter guide's contents is available through the CVF office, as well as printed versions of the home page. For additional information, please contact:
Alfie Charles, Secretary of State Bill Jones' office: (916) 653-6575 Mark Smotroff, Digital Equipment Corp.: (415) 904-7000 ext. 270.
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