BETTER BALLOTS increases voter participation in New York State by sdfsb346f

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									      Better Ballots: 2006 New York Voter Education Guide

                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 11, 2006                    Contact:      Maggie Williams or Jessica Willis
                                                 (718) 838.7882     (718) 838.7843
                                                 (917) 362.8778     (646) 335.3807


BETTER BALLOTS: 2006 New York Voter Education Guide Launched
                at www.BetterBallotsNY.org

  BETTER BALLOTS Broadcasts Candidate Positions on Issues That Resonate
    With Communities That Are Historically Underrepresented At The Polls.

BETTER BALLOTS, launched by the Voter Enfranchisement Project in partnership
with the Drop the Rock Coalition, the New York Campaign for Telephone Justice,
and the Prison Policy Initiative, puts critical issues on candidates’ agendas and
provides concrete information to New York voters in order to increase civic participation,
especially in communities that are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice
system.

BETTER BALLOTS: 2006 New York Voter Guide connects upstate and downstate
communities by covering all statewide races in both the primary and general elections,
and State Assembly and State Senate races in the general election for many districts in
New York City and across New York State.

The website, BetterBallotsNY.org generates individualized versions of the Guide
enabling voters and community advocates to tailor the Guide to include only the races
that are relevant to their region. By providing voters and activists with candidate photos,
statements, and an easily searchable Guide, BETTER BALLOTS plans to increase
turnout among infrequent voters and new registrants across New York State.

BETTER BALLOTS believes that infrequent voters and new voters are more likely to
vote when they learn where candidates stand on issues such as Election Day
Registration, the Rockefeller Drug Laws, and the exclusive contract between
Verizon/MCI and the New York State Department of Correctional Services. BETTER
BALLOTS will increase voter participation by broadcasting candidate positions on
issues that resonate with communities that are historically underrepresented at the
polls.

This is not a scorecard or a ranking system of candidates. Instead, BETTER BALLOTS
has elicited thoughtful responses that are approximately 50 words in length to six
important questions – enabling voters to connect more effectively with candidates
running for office in New York State. As explained by Maggie Williams, the Project
Director of the Voter Enfranchisement Project, “Better Ballots is valuable because it
      Better Ballots: 2006 New York Voter Education Guide

helps voters determine who is running for which positions and learn where the
candidates stand on critical issues. Centralizing this information in one place empowers
New York voters and makes our democracy more accountable to all communities.”

Maggie Williams
The Voter Enfranchisement Project
The Bronx Defenders
maggiew@bronxdefenders.org
Phone: 718.838.7882
Cell: 917.362.8778
Fax: 718.665.0100

Robert Gangi
Drop The Rock Coalition
The Correctional Association
www.droptherock.org
212.254.5700

Marion Rodriguez
New York Campaign for Telephone Justice
www.telephonejustice.org
212.614.6421

Peter Wagner
Prison Policy Initiative
www.prisonpolicy.org
413.527.1333

								
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