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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.

Britain Exits the EU: What's Brext for the US?

2016 June 30

This past week, the world watched as 30 million Brits took to the polls to vote on a referendum deciding Britain's future within the European Union. A referendum is a general vote by the constituency on a single political question that has been referred to them for a direct decision. 


71.8% of the electorate participated and ultimately voted, by a margin of 52% to 48%, to leave the EU. 

Wondering what exactly this means to the US? Below is a breakdown of the referendum as well as the stances of key US presidential candidates.

Those campaigning to leave the EU argued that Britain was being held back by the rules and restrictions that come with being one of 28 nations. An exit would allow businesses to negotiate their own trade deals, and would provide the freedom to focus solely on British interests.

Those who favored an exit also cited a need for the nation to take back control of its borders. The UK is one of 10 EU member states who contribute more to the budget than they get out. In 2015 the UK contributed 13 billion pounds to the Union's budget, but EU spending on Britain was only 4.5 billion pounds. This is the equivalent of Mississippi receiving significantly more federal aid per capita, than say California, in relation to how many tax dollars they send to the federal treasury.

Proponents of staying argued that EU membership fuels economic growth by providing easier trade and a steady flow ...

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Legislators’ Demonstrate to Spur Votes on Gun Control

2016 June 28

 On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, more than 170 House Democrats led by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a former leader in the Civil Rights movement, staged a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives to try to spur votes..........

What is an Omnibus Bill?

2016 June 27

 Have you seen a recent headline about Congress passing an omnibus bill? Curious about what this obscure sounding piece of legislation is? Below we provide a non-partisan explanation of omnibus bills.....

To require voter ID or not require ID? A Heated Question

2016 June 15

 Has your state recently passed a Voter ID law? Want to know what the arguments for/ against this legislation are? Read our non-partisan breakdown of this heated political issue: 

Share Vote Smart With A Millennial Voter

2016 June 07

 ...Today’s young people are rejecting participation in democracy by not voting in elections.......

Getting to the Core of Common Core

2016 June 01

Heard of Common Core, but not sure what it is? Curious about how states receive federal funding for education? Below, we break down this hot-button issue, and provide the 2016 presidential candidates’ stances towards Common Core......

What is a Contested Convention?

2016 May 26

"Following an unusual primary season, we may see a contested convention for the first time in a long time."
Read Vote Smart's breakdown of contested conventions.

The Balancing Act of Determining Discrimination

2016 May 17

Multiple “religious freedom” bills are currently capturing the attention of state legislatures across the country. “Religious freedom” bills are proposed legislation that call for religious organizations, businesses, and individuals to be protected from penalties for declining to provide services to individuals whose lifestyle conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs.

May Common Ground E-Newsletter

2016 May 06

May Common Ground E-Newsletter: See what is going on at Vote Smart!

Political Research Wrap-Up: Spring 2016

2016 April 27

 Political news that you may have missed this spring

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