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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

March Common Ground E-Newsletter

2012 March 15

"Because it matters." 

I'm Fran Gardner a semi-retired journalist from Portland, Oregon. This past year, I  spent two-weeks in the Montana Rockies as a member volunteer for Project Vote Smart. Each year, I and other volunteers, young and old and in between, spend long days researching what candidates at the national and state-level say, how they vote on key legislation, where they stand on major issues facing the nation, and so much more.

Why do I do it? Because it matters.  

Vote Smart will be the first to tell you their research efforts are anything but glamorous, but it does help to know that this work is vital. And, frankly, the setting more than makes up for it. When I look up from my desk, I see mountainsides cloaked with tall, proud evergreens. Sunlight plays through the shivering leaves of the aspens planted just outside. This past year, a moose family complete with a youngster has been spotted on the banks of nearby Moose Lake. Even the food served in the dining lodge is something to write home about.  

But the best part of it all is the sure understanding that what I do makes a difference. That if it weren’t for me—and others like me—something unique, precious, and irreplaceable would be lost.  

Information, at least unbiased information, has become an endangered species, and the Republic will be in real danger when it disappears entirely. The change won’t be immediate. It’ll creep up on us ...

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Got questions? Call us toll-free

2012 February 13

No matter your experience-level or political preference, our researchers are here to answer even your most basic questions on U.S. candidates, officials, issues, and voting.

A message from Richard Kimball, President

2012 January 31

It's time for every thinking American to saddle up and fight for that most precious component in our struggle to self govern, our right to know.

GOP field narrowing, but are candidates really gone?

2012 January 20

The South Carolina Republican Presidential Preference Primary is scheduled for Saturday, January, 21st and while in most of our minds there are only four candidates still vying for the GOP nomination, one look at the ballot will tell a slightly different story. 

Where it all began

2012 January 11

It was unclear what might be done to ensure that citizens had at least one independent source to easily acquire accurate information, but what we eventually decided upon remains the heart of Project Vote Smart today.

Oregon major party candidates lacking political courage

2012 January 09

We released the 2012 Political Courage Test results today for Oregon's special election showing neither major party congressional candidate running for the state's 1st Congressional District seat was willing to answer even the most basic issue-related questions addressed inside the Test.

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