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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.

Vote Smart or Bust!

2016 August 11

I broke a promise made to Carter, Ford and dozens of others who had an idea long ago that has become Vote Smart. I had promised to bury my politics into the darkest, deepest, never to be heard from corners of my mind, but last month I wrote a letter that angered a lot of people.

It was a piece about how the carpet bombing attack tactics of politicians from both major parties these past two decades had destroyed the people’s trust in our institutions and nurtured such anger they would vote for a volcano just to shake things up.

And now, right here, I am going to break that promise and anger people again. If Vote Smart, which this country needs so desperately, suffers as a result, so be it.

Politicians sell anger and fear, then tell our fellow citizens the other party or candidate is to blame for the horrid state of our society.  The media rivets on their most distressing claims or the grizzliest crimes our species is capable of. All the while I just feel so lucky to be me:

1. My life expectancy has increased 17 years since I was born.
2. The chances of my being murdered dropped 50% in the last thirty years.
3. The chances of my being robbed dropped 50% in the last thirty years.
4. The chances of my grandchildren being raped dropped 30% in the last thirty years.
5. I am ten times more likely to die in a traffic accident than ...

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Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Labeling

2016 August 10

How can the benefits of GMOs be utilized while respecting the consumer’s right to transparency?

“Campus Carry” versus “Gun Free”

2016 August 04

The ideological debate between campus carry supporters and opponents remains contentious, with students rallying around both sides of the argument.

The Minimum Wage Debate

2016 August 01

Some legislators are beginning to act on the task of increasing the minimum wage, while others are actively trying to stop the increases.

Legislative Recap: Tobacco Restrictions

2016 July 28

In the past year and a half, several states have passed laws changing the age at which one can legally smoke cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Potential Ramifications of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt & an Overview of Recent Abortion Legislation

2016 July 25

On June 27, the Supreme Court issued a 5-3 ruling on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Justice Breyer wrote the majority opinion, reversing and remanding two provisions of HB 2, which was passed by the Texas legislature during a special session in 2013.

Voting Rights for Convicted Felons

2016 July 22

2016 has seen several state legislators propose changes in the regulation of voting rights for individuals with felonies, and the timeframe for felons to receive the right to vote.

Marijuana, States and Presidential Nominees

2016 July 20

The legislative year of 2016 has seen a multitude of bills passed that authorizes the use of marijuana in many states.

The Native American Energy Act: Economic Prosperity or Traditional Tribal Values?

2016 July 13

 The state of American Indian land sovereignty, health, and welfare becomes more and more complex as the demand for American energy independence grows.........

Open Senate Seats: Nevada

2016 July 05

 In 2016, there are five Senators who are retiring: two Republicans and three Democrats. Flocks of candidates have put their bid in for the chance to become their state’s newest junior Senator.

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