December 9, 1995
CONTACT: Kim Alexander
(916) 325-2120

SF Online Voter Guide Update and Demonstration
Demonstration of our San Francisco Online Voter Guide

The California Voter Foundation invites you to join us for a demonstration of our San Francisco Online Voter Guide:

When: Monday, December 11, 1995 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Where: Icon Byte Bar and Grill 299 Ninth Street (at Folsom)

Liv Williams, CVF's deputy director, and Monique De Jong, CVF's outreach coordinator, will be on hand to demonstrate how San Francisco voters can use our guide in making their decisions for Tuesday's run-off election for the offices of Mayor and District Attorney. There is no need to RSVP for this event; if you have any questions, please call Liv Williams at (916) 325-2120. Street parking should be available.

Our guide, which can be found at: features updated information for Mayoral candidates Willie Brown and Frank Jordan, and D.A. candidates Terence Hallinan and Bill Fazio. Specifically, voters will find original material provided directly by the candidates, such as biographies, endorsement lists, platform papers, news articles and photographs. In addition, our guide features information from the San Francisco Ballot Pamphlet, the League of Women Voters, and the Voice of the Voter civic journalism project.

The guide also includes, for the first time ever, an online database of campaign contributions and expenditures that voters can search prior to casting their ballots. The database includes the November 30th reports filed by the four run-off candidates, and data for all other candidates and campaigns through October 26th. We are able to provide this service because San Francisco is the only place in the country that currently requires candidates to file their campaign statements on computer disk, and because Digital Equipment Corporation and SDR Technlogies have generously donated their services in creating and maintaining this database.

I've been told that our campaign finance database represents one of the most advanced uses of database technology on the Internet to date. Any journalist interested in improving public access to political records will enjoy the speed and ease of searching this records. In seconds, you can discover how much money candidates have raised from attorneys, how much money Willie Brown has received from donors living in Sacramento, and how much money candidates have spent on political consultants.

I'm happy to report that last month our site was ranked within the top five percent of all Internet sites by the Point Survey in New York. The San Francisco guide is the first local voter guide produced by the California Voter Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Sacramento.

We launched our site on October 10; documents from the web site were accessed by Internet users over 20,000 times in the first four weeks it was up. Users showed a particular interest in the campaign finance data -- one in four file retrievals were for financial records.

A statewide poll we commissioned last month, conducted by David Binder Research, found that a significant number of California voters are turning to the Internet for information on elections. Binder's poll found that nine percent of likely voters said they receive election information from online computer services, and more than one in four said they'd like to go online for election information in the future.

Our site includes hundreds of pages worth of valuable information. I hope that in the final days of this year's election season, you will let your audience know about the availability of this important voter resource. Please contact me at (916) 325-2120 if you have any questions or need additional information.

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