Vote Smart is a website presenting the activity of an organization with the same name. The organization positions itself as a unique project which unites volunteers who are interested in the ideas of freedom and self-government (“About Vote Smart”). This non-profit organization and its members “have committed themselves to an extraordinary effort that, if successful, will provide their fellow citizens with the tools for a reemergence of political power not known for half a century” (“About Vote Smart”).
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Vote Smart states that its mission is to “provide free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to all Americans” (“About Vote Smart”). Vote Smart is an organization with goals and values which are not typical of organizations involved in politics. It unites diverse citizens who come together without any selfish aims or interests such as to promote a candidate but to support and protect democratic ideas. One of its objectives is to empower the most significant and powerful component of politics as a whole and democracy in particular, which is access to information. Although constantly attacked by the representatives of different political parties for depriving them of the opportunity to manipulate information and deceive voters, the organization follows its purposes and has many supporters.
The organization is based on volunteer grounds. The majority of its members are not paid for their activity. Vote Smart has the following structure. There are the founders, board member emeritus, the active board, and the executive committee (“Board”). Its staff includes administration, development and communicators, information technology department, elections and candidates research team, and official research team. Every team has its functions and contributes to the success of the organization (“Meet Our Staff”).
The organization has some leaders who are responsible for the management of its functioning. Richard Kimball is the President of Vote Smart. His sphere of responsibility is fundraising and the integrity of Board-approved policies and standards. Jessika Arrigoni is a National Board Chair. Her sphere of activity is the national board of Vote Smart. Adelaide Kimball is a senior advisor and a founding board member. Her responsibility is the major giver development and media. Walker McKusick, the National Director, cares for everyday Vote Smart programs, staff, administration, and facilities. Andrew Buenger is an internship coordinator and office manager. Thus, his responsibility is the coordination of the internship program of Vote Smart (“Meet Our Staff”).
The organization is useful for people who support democratic ideas and want to learn more about the status quo in the political life of the country. It can be interesting for researchers or students who investigate American democracy. However, the major power of the organization is to protect voters from being manipulated. Thus, it is most useful for voters who need to figure out current events and personalities in politics.
The interesting feature of this organization is its voter’s self-defense system. It includes voting records, biographical, and contact information about candidates, public statements, and financial information about campaigns. Another peculiarity is that the organization involves mainly volunteers, which is proof of its effective work.
I believe I would consider joining Vote Smart. The activity of this organization looks transparent, and its actions are unbiased. It can be useful both for the citizens interested in politics and those who just want to form their opinion about the election’s candidates.
“About Vote Smart.” Vote Smart, Web.
“Board.” Vote Smart, Web.
“Meet Our Staff.” Vote Smart, Web.