The League of Women
Visitors to the Web
site can enter their zip code, calling up a complete directory of candidates
running for office in their area, including local city council and school
board seats. The league also posts explanations of the various ballot
initiatives California has become famous for, helping voters decide where
they stand. SmartVoter can help citizens find the location of their polling
place and map it as well. The site even offers voter registration forms
that can be printed off and then submitted.
While the league
explores ways to reach voters through technology, it wont abandon
the traditional techniques in use since its 1920 inception--printing paper
voters guides and sponsoring public forums and debates.
Internet is not the only way to advance democracy, said Betty Mann,
league liaison for Northern California. There are always going to
be people without computers. But it is a tool for democracy.
The California leagues, in fact, prints voters guides in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. They hope to assist newly minted citizens the same way that the LWV helped women carry out their civic duty after gaining suffrage.
Youre not always going to get everyone into it, but you have to continually expand the tent, Mann said.