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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at 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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