October 9, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
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Summary: 
Updated Nonpartisan Website Relaunches to Help Voters Wade Through Controversial Ballot Measures
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Californiachoices.org provides comprehensive election information, and gets interactive!

(San Francisco) On Election Day, California voters will be confronted with a doozey of a ballot, including 11 statewide propositions, Congressional, State Senate and Assembly candidates, as well as various local offices and initiatives – not to mention the Presidential election.

Help is on the way. California Choices (www.californiachoices.org), a nonpartisan clearinghouse for state voter information, is relaunching today. The newly updated website examines the 11 statewide propositions that are on the ballot this November, dissecting all the available information into a highly accessible, one-stop-shop format. 

“It is easy to become discouraged when trying to use newspapers, the Internet, television and other resources to research nearly a dozen different ballot initiatives. We put all the information in one place so that voters can access nonpartisan poling data, in-depth background information, and a wealth of resources through a single porthole,” said F. Noel Perry, the founder of the nonpartisan nonprofit organization, Next 10, which presents California Choices in partnership with the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and the Department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.

The most popular section of the site continues to be the “Endorsements” table, which shows endorsements made by 25 groups of all political stripes for the 11 different ballot measures. In addition to detailed information about the measures, including pro and con arguments, polling data, video ads, and press coverage, the interactive site also allows users to save their votes using the new “My Votes” feature. Voters can then access their voting preferences at any time from another device, including from a smart phone at the polling place. Users can also share their votes with family and friends via email or Facebook.

“The partners who present this website are dedicated to finding new ways to support Californians in becoming more engaged in the political process,” said Jack Citrin, Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley. “We use our smart phones and social media to schedule our days, keep up to date on the news of the day, and keep in touch with friends and family—why not also use these resources to create a more robust democracy?”

California Choices was created in June 2010 to educate Californians about government reform.  Three of the 11 November ballot measures are reform-related—they address budget reform, campaign contributions, and redistricting.

“The reforms voters have approved recently show that Californians are ready to work together to solve the state’s deepest problems,” said Thad Kousser, Associate Professor of Political Science at UC San Diego. “But the work is not over yet, and the outcome of this election will be a bellwether for how to best move forward.”

Visit the updated site today at www.californiachoices.org and explore the brand new “My Votes” and “Share Your Votes” features.