By: Vote Smart Elections & Candidates Research Director, James Wypych.
Originally published at https://www.dsmpartnership.com/news-media/blog/vote-smart-offers-insight-into-2020-federal-candidates-through-forums--more in collaboration with the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Vote Smart's physical location is in Des Moines, Iowa.
This November, Vote Smart will experience its first presidential election in the first-in-the-nation state. Hundreds of staff and interns have done the research to help educate millions of voters on the candidates vying to represent them.
Utilizing the Research
We are excited to collaborate on the Greater Des Moines Partnership 2020 Virtual Candidate Forums, providing information on Iowa’s federal candidates this cycle. You can find event information here. Through VoteSmart’s extensive research processes, we have researched each candidate's contact information, educational background, birthplace and professional and political experiences and built out a candidate’s job application for their upcoming interviews to represent you.
Our research team scours the web to find every snippet of public information on these candidates from their own personal sources — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, along with their campaign websites — to find every little fact and data point that can help to give insight into those running for office. We investigate who they are, their background, where they stand on important and timely issues, who supports them and what they have said; all to help users understand who the people are that show up on their ballot each election day.
The research provided in the info sheet each forum attendee receives is just a snippet of the extensive database of research collected by Vote Smart on candidates not just across Iowa, but across the country. And it’s all completely free to access at VoteSmart.org.
2020: A Year of ‘New Norms’
As with all businesses, this year has required one thing: flexibility. Vote Smart moved much of our research work remotely, from office buildings to bedrooms and home offices.
Our staff and 35 student volunteers, based from California to Massachusetts, continued their crucial work this summer. More recently this fall, 35 Drake University students, working from their homes and dorm rooms, have helped continue the great work to deliver the research leading up to the big day on Tuesday, November 3.
A Change of Face
Despite all the craziness the year has brought, we have still found time to give our website a facelift, creating a more user-friendly experience through new graphics and responsive design. The new updates allow users to find additio
nal info beyond the Candidate Forums. You can find all the candidates running in elections using our elections hub, read up on key votes from Congress and all 50 state legislatures and find your political soulmate through VoteEasy, our candidate matching tool.
You can find all of this information at the tips of your fingers on phone, tablet or desktop and all completely free at VoteSmart.org.