Voter.com provides election info for voters and candidates

BY JILL ROSEN ([email protected])

A new for-profit political World Wide Web site helps voters find information on their pet issues while giving candidates a new platform to air their views.

Voter.com, launched this month, is a bipartisan site sponsored by national organizations such as as the Sierra Club, the Christian Coalition and the AFL-CIO. The site earns money by selling space to candidates and organizations as well as selling users' e-mail addresses to those groups.

The site's director of political outreach, Christina Lisi, said Tuesday that Voter.com anticipates 3 to 5 million visitors to the site during the 2000 election season. During that time, national and state campaign information will be available online. Lisi said she expects to add information on local races by 2001.

Voter.com works like this: People go to the site and register by typing in information about where they live and what issues matter to them. The site's database breaks down that information to show people the races in which they can vote and of those, the positions of the various candidates. Moreover, people can compare candidates' views to the positions espoused by national interest groups like The Heritage Foundation or the Business-Industry Political Action Committee.

Lisi calls the site an "easy-sell'' to candidates and groups eager for attention. "A lot of these guys have spent an enormous amount of money to set up [a] Web site,'' she said. "Like George W. [Bush], the only people that look at his site are Gore and Bradley. We'll get new people to their information.''

Voter.com plans to spend as much as $20 million on a television, radio and print advertising blitz starting in January.

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