Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ten Great Online Resources for California Voters

There are some fantastic resources on the Internet this election season to help voters.  Here's a round-up of some of our favorites, including those provided by the California Voter Foundation.  

1. California Online Voter Guide

This nonpartisan guide covers all nine California propositions including the top five donors for and against each measure and provides contact information and web links for all state and federal California candidates. A Voter FAQ, political district maps, and voting system information are also featured.

2.  The Proposition Song

This three-minute long music video produced by the California Voter Foundation provides a lyrical overview of the nine propositions on the ballot. Sing along because the ballot is too darn long!

3.  California Choices

One of the most popular election applications of the year, this web site offers a section on the propositions featuring positions from dozens of organizations and a tool that allows you to share your own positions with your friends.


This site is produced by the League of Women Voters of California in cooperation with many California county election offices.  SmartVoter provides a tool that allows voters to call up their own ballot and access information on just those candidates and measures.

5.  Easy Voter Guide

Produced by the League of Women Voters and the California State Library, this is an easy-to-read 16-page pamphlet providing nonpartisan information on all statewide candidates and propositions.  The online version is expanded to include videos promoting voting participation.

6.'s California voter guides features voter guides posted by many different organizations all in one place and allows users to create their own voter guide to share. It's an innovative use of technology to allow the public to effectively disseminate their own opinions.


This site was developed by Adam Kravitz, the same person who developed the "J-Date" dating web site for Jewish singles.  You can put in any address in California and it will turn up a ballot showing all the candidates and choices that will appear on a ballot for that address. Candidates can pay a small fee to have their listing expanded to include a photo and candidate information.  It's an attractive interface and to my knowledge also the first comprehensive online tool providing a personalized voter guide to all California voters.

8. Google Voter Info

Google's Voter Info service allows voters anywhere in the country to look up their polling place location and provides links to government agencies where voters can confirm that location.

9. Roster of County Election Offices

Though not the most exciting resource, it is the one voters with questions are more frequently referred to by CVF, since it is county election offices that administer elections.  CVF's roster provides contact information and web site links to all 58 county election offices, many of which provide online tools that allow voters to check their polling place location, registration status, call up a sample ballot and find out the status of their absentee ballots.

10.  California Voter Information Guide

This is the go-to resource for California voters produced by the Secretary of State and featuring the text, nonpartisan analysis and arguments for and against state ballot propositions, plus statements from many state candidates.  When it's the night before the election and you can't find your printed guide, you can use the online version instead.

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