Partnership to bring citizens in-depth, nonpartisan voting information that's easy to understand, all in one place
Voter’s Edge California, a comprehensive online voting guide, announced a new partnership today with California Counts, a collaborative of public media stations across California, to provide the state’s citizens with unbiased, in-depth information on candidates and ballot measures down to the local level. The partnership includes KPCC/Southern California Public Radio in Los Angeles, KQED in San Francisco, Capital Public Radio in Sacramento and KPBS in San Diego.
Voter’s Edge California is a joint project of MapLight and the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (LWVCEF). A translated version of Voter’s Edge California is also available in Spanish, with valuable information on upcoming elections and detailed translations of state and federal data.
To use the tool, voters simply type in their home address and a personalized page is returned with all the contests that will appear on the user's ballot, supplemented with endorsements, funding sources, editorials, news articles, summary information, biographies and more. Voters can mark their choices and print their ballot to bring to the polls or share with family and friends via social media if desired.
"Voters who want to make up their own minds often have a hard time finding basic information on candidates and issues,” said Melanie Sill, KPCC/Southern California Public Radio’s Vice President of Content. “This guide does that and more, including information on campaign contributions and lots of other links, and we're delighted to provide it to our audiences."
During a 2014 pilot program, Voter's Edge received more than one million site visitors. For a significant number of users, Voter’s Edge increased the likelihood of voting, as well as helped users make different choices on ballot contests, and vote for more offices. Seventy-three percent of surveyed users reported feeling more knowledgeable about candidates and ballot measures. Separate Voter’s Edge guides are also available to voters in New York and Illinois.
"Each election, California voters are inundated with inaccurate and biased information that lands in their mailbox, inbox and voicemail," said Melissa Breach, Executive Director of the LWVCEF. "Voter’s Edge California is the antidote to this rampant misinformation, and our partnership with California Counts ensures more Californians can vote with confidence on Election Day.”
Voters in California will head to the polls for the primary election on June 7, but many voters will vote by mail beginning in May. During the 2014 midterm elections, less than one third of California's eligible population voted and only six states saw lower turnout rates.
"Voter's Edge California provides voters with information in a way that is efficient and easy to understand," said Daniel G. Newman, Co-Founder and President of MapLight. "We are thrilled to partner with California Counts to help voters make informed decisions about their ballot and increase civic engagement in the 2016 elections."
Voter's Edge California offers free partnerships to media outlets and community organizations interested in expanding local and state election information in their communities, including co-branded voter guides on partners' websites. For more information on partnering with Voter's Edge California, contact Elizabeth Leslie at eleslie [at] lwvc.org or 916-442-7215.
About Voter's Edge
Voter's Edge California, a joint project of the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and MapLight, was made possible by generous support from the Joyce Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The national expansion of the Voter's Edge project was also generously supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Kaphan Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
About California Counts
California Counts is a collaboration with four public media stations, KPCC/Southern California Public Radio in Los Angeles, Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, KQED radio and television in San Francisco, and KPBS radio and television in San Diego. The collaboration covers important statewide races in the 2016 presidential election, including the U.S. Senate race to replace Barbara Boxer and a number of key state ballot propositions. The collaboration aims to understand the concerns and interests of Californians who may not be engaging in traditional politics through a series of stories called Activating Voters. You can share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #CACounts.