First-In-Nation Voter Initiative Taps Innovative Technology; Campaign Spending & Voter Apathy Addressed

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Technology-based candidate forums and voter services in Florida will provide unprecedented access to the public and media. Forums kick-off on August 8 featuring candidates for statewide office.

An innovative voter awareness service in Florida is promoting an informed democracy while at the same time offering a way to reduce spiraling campaign costs and combat voter apathy. The nonprofit sponsor is also “on-call” to help implement the service in other states.

The service’s cutting edge approach is aimed at informing voters about candidates for public office, the public offices at stake and issues affecting the public. The technologies used make information access fast, easy and convenient. Included are:

  •      Candidate forums by phone, live to the public statewide.

  •     “On demand replays” where voters can listen at their convenience by phone or through the Internet.
  •     Mp3 and iPod downloads for listening on the go.
  •     Online polling to find out what voters want to know from candidates.

The series of forums gets underway on August 8, 2006, providing unprecedented public access to vital voter information.

Spearheaded by the Florida Public Interest Foundation, the initiative is called “Public Matters.” It is being co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause of Florida, among others.

The service is nonpartisan in nature.

“This is a way to inform and empower voters like never before”, says Foundation Chair and Public Matters Director, Marcia Elder.

Pre-Primary forums have been set for:

  •      Attorney General - August 8, 3:30 PM

  •     Chief Financial Officer – August 9, 2:30 PM
  •     Governor, The Democrat Candidates – August 15, 10:30 AM

Arrangements for additional forums is underway. Florida's Primary is September 5, with the General Election November 7.

Scheduling and access information for the forums is posted on-line, along with a range of other information for voters plus a Media Room, at ThePublicMatters.net.

The new service also includes a Youth Initiative to inform and engage high school and college students. Please see Web or attached past releases on this and for further details on Public Matters.

The Florida Public Interest Foundation sponsors public education programs and provides support services to other non-profit organizations and public agencies. Available services include organizing public service events and technology uses as described in this release. Contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible and will enable additional public services of this calibre.

Patent pending technology services are being used to support the project, with technology rights granted to the Foundation.

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