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Smart Voter Election Coverage

Review federal, state and local candidate and ballot question information for elections in California, Pennsylvania and Ohio on Smart Voter. Find the appropriate link for you on the right side of this page >>>>>>

Californians: Go To New Next Generation Smart Voter Site for Stories and Last-Minute Ballot Information

November 4, 2012

Yikes — only 48 hours left to figure out how you’re voting in Tuesday’s Presidential election!  All those state propositions, Congress, state Senate and Assembly, local offices and measures…

But, you’re in luck if you are a California voter.  You can take advantage of the brand new Next Generation version of Smart Voter at  It’s designed to be especially helpful for the quick information needs and smaller touch screens of smartphone and tablet owners — but provides a thought-provoking experience for laptop and desktop computer users too with extensive video, audio and graphics to help you understand your choices!

If you haven’t done so, check out the new kinds of featured and innovative content about election issues, contests, news coverage and the voting process.  And come back every day because the stories are updated regularly — as many as several times a day when a lot is happening on the electoral scene.  At this time the Next Generation site is in an extended “beta” testing phase and only supports California voting information.

But never fear — after we complete our beta testing, we’ll roll out the extensive capabilities of the Next Generation of Smart Voter to voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the US too!

You can also visit our conventional Smart Voter website, where you can find our valuable information for other states, local elections occurring on other dates, and past elections.

Paying Attention to What Matters

October 20, 2011

This afternoon I’ll be making a brief presentation at the 40th Anniversary celebration of the Public Management Program at Stanford Business School. One of my central themes is that to make a difference, we have to pay attention to what matters.  In the context of voting and democracy, most of our modern media and information technology focuses us on exactly the wrong things — the game of politics and the drama of partisan conflicts.

If you’re interested in participating in a conversation around this critical problem and/or supporting our efforts to change the game, please email me at ernie AT or sign up for updates on this blog.

We’re Looking for Talented Software Developers

June 7, 2011

We’re looking for talented software developers who are committed to effective democracy and good government to work on our Next Generation of Smart Voter!  If you are one — or know one — check out the attached PDF description..      sv2swdeveloperswanted.pdf

Live California Election Results Available on Smart Voter

November 2, 2010

California voters — find the latest election results for Governor, US Senate and the rest of your federal and state offices and propositions on Smart Voter now…

We Want YOU (to vote)! Find Last-Minute Voting Information

November 1, 2010

Don’t let anything stop you from voting tomorrow — our democracy needs YOU!  Not sure if your polling place moved?  Can’t decide about Governor or Senator?  Need to listen to a recorded debate to decide on a proposition?  Never heard about the judicial candidates?

For this election an unprecedented 93% of all registered voters in California can obtain comprehensive local as well as federal and state ballot information by going to  This includes answers to questions posed to US Senate candidates as well as other federal and state legislators, 2000 individual profiles of candidates, and background on the state props and hundreds of local ballot measures. Thousands of additional candidates are listed for New York, Pennyslvania, and Ohio.  Before you drop off your ballot or go to the polls, check to view all of that information in one place!

In California, you can also call 1-800-345-VOTE for questions about voting.  Contact your county elections office to confirm your voter registration status.  Other official voting information is available for New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

An “A” for Effort

October 27, 2010

Let it never be said that fans of Smart Voter are shy!  In a post Smart Voter, Dumb Candidates a few weeks ago in her blog Around Fremont, Clarissa Ryan took some of her local candidates to task for not providing any information to voters through our online service.  She offered some pointed theories as to why.  I’m not sure of the extent to which any of the particular failings she cites might actually apply to the candidates, but we know that they are missing a golden opportunity to communicate the reasons why voters should select them on Election Day.

We appreciate the time many candidates take to submit information that helps voters make an informed decision.  For the November 2nd election, that includes thousands of candidates at the federal, state and local level whose free profiles already appear at  It’s also fair to note that sometimes we have difficulty reaching candidates with the contact information that is available to us.  If you’re still out there but not on Smart Voter, you can always find us.

Does the Early Vote Get the Worm?

October 25, 2010

Did you catch the Op-Ed “Voting Early, But Not So Often” by Barry Burden and Kenneth Mayer of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in yesterday’s New York Times?  In it they summarize their research finding that the greater availaibliity of early voting (voting by mail or in person before Election Day) reduces overall voter turnout.  Of course, as with most things it’s not quite that simple.  Check out the article if you’re interested in its possible implications for improving the voting process.  What do you think?

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In the meantime, don’t forget the current voting rules in your community:

In California, if you still wish to obtain a Vote-By-Mail ballot for the November 2 election, you must make sure your application is RECEIVED by your county elections office by tomorrow, October 26th.  See these instructions for California.  In Pennsylvania, registered voters that still wish to obtain an absentee ballot must follow the same timeline.  See these instructions for Pennsylvania.

In New York and Ohio you may apply IN PERSON for an absentee ballot as late as November 1st, but must apply earlier if doing so by mail.  See the New York instructions and Ohio instructions.

Exceptions to the above rules apply to those living abroad, serving in the military, or in emergency situations.  In addition, California and Ohio are among the states with other early voting options in person.  Contact your county elections office for details.  And of course, go to to get all of your ballot information and additional background on candidates or measures.

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