Over the last twenty years, the political landscape has changed dramatically. A high-tech climate has encouraged negative, issueless campaigns which have left voters with little guidance in making the informed choices necessary to successful self-government. During the political campaign season, Americans find themselves assaulted from all sides by hype, baiting, mudslinging, and rumor-mongering, all in the name of the "democratic process". Even if you are too young to vote, you can learn about what it means to be a smart voter. The following activities can be used by students or teachers as they work to evaluate their candidates and monitor their work once they are hired by the voters. The Vote Smart Database can be used by students to find out more about those who wish to represent them or those who currently do.
Even if you do not have access to the World Wide Web in your school you can use our FREE manuals in your classroom. These publications contain a sample of the data available on this site. Plus, you and your students can access our entire database via the Voter's Research Hotline, toll-free 1-888-VOTE-SMART (or 1-888-868-3762) where one of our volunteer or intern researchers will help you find out what you need to know. PLEASE! Limit the number of callers to one or two students per class - we are a small grassroots organization and hundreds of student calls can tie up the lines so that others cannot get through.