Voter's Edge and Smart Voter Join Forces to Provide California Voters with Nonpartisan Online Voter Guide


Editor's Note: Funding data will be available for select ballot measures and all California congressional and state-level candidates. If you're interested in hosting an iFrame of Voter's Edge on your media site please contact California ballot measures and candidate pages will be live prior to the June primary election.

April 30, 2014 - Smart Voter and MapLight have teamed up to bring California a new comprehensive, nonpartisan online guide to elections called Voter's Edge. This partnership marries Smart Voter's powerful coverage of election contests and candidates with MapLight's deep expertise in public data and technology.  Smart Voter is a long-respected program of the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund, one of the most authoritative sources for elections information in the state. MapLight is a nationally acclaimed 501(c)(3) research organization that publishes Voter's Edge, a national nonpartisan online voter's guide.

Using innovative technology, Voter's Edge will provide Californians with comprehensive information for California voters about all of the candidates - federal, state, and local - that will appear on their ballots, as well as nonpartisan information about state and local ballot measures. Local election information will cover 90% of California voters.

 "Our democracy thrives when all Californians have the tools and information they need to participate fully in civic life," said Melissa Breach, League of Women Voters of California Education Fund Executive Director. "MapLight is the leading source for information on money in politics, and our new partnership will ensure more Californians are fully informed and engaged on election day."

 "An informed electorate is essential to a functioning democracy," said Daniel G. Newman, MapLight's Co-Founder and President. "We are delighted to work together with Smart Voter, the best source for unbiased election information in California, on this joint project that brings voting guides into the 21st century. Voter's Edge allows voters to easily separate fact from fiction so they can make informed decisions at the polls. Being an informed voter has never been so easy."

The partnership between the League of Women Voters Education Fund and MapLight is designed to provide critical, trustworthy information to help Californians decide how to vote at the polls. A balance of publicly-available and candidate-supplied information will be delivered more quickly and efficiently to a larger audience than was ever before possible. 

Voter's Edge Ballot Measure pages will show each measure's Summary Information-what a "YES" or a "NO" vote would mean; the projected financial impact of the proposition; campaign arguments by proponents and opponents; Funding Data-a top 10 list of contributors, the geographic origin of contributions and a breakdown of contributions by industry; Key Endorsements for and against the measureNews; and Editorials.   

Voter's Edge Candidate pages will show publicly-available information as well as information provided directly by candidates including: Political and Professional Background, Endorsements, Campaign Finance Data, Policy Priorities, Political Philosophy, and Videos of Key Policy Speeches. Candidate supplied information will be gathered through the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund's grassroots volunteers across the state.

Voter's Edge is made possible, in part, by The James Irvine Foundation as well as the generous support of individual League of Women Voters of California Education Fund's Smart Voter donors.

About the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund:

The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund conducts voter service and citizen education activities. It is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonpartisan non-profit educational organization, which:

  • Builds citizen participation in the democratic process.
  • Studies key community issues at all government levels in an unbiased manner.
  • Enables people to seek positive solutions to public policy issues through education and conflict management.

About The James Irvine Foundation:

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful, and inclusive society. The Foundation's grantmaking focuses on three program areas: Arts, California Democracy, and Youth. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1.3 billion in grants to more than 3,500 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With about $1.6 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $68 million in 2012 for the people of California. 

About MapLight: MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan research organization that tracks money's influence on politics.   

Note: A link to this press release can be found here

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Media Contacts:

Pamela Behrsin (MapLight)
c: 415-299-0898 | e: | t: @imonlyabill

Elizabeth Leslie (League of Women Voters in CA) 

c: 916-842-7737 | e: │t: @cavotes