- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 27, 2008

DENVER | In the parking lot on the corner of 14th and Stout streets sit two very different buses - one for Project Vote Smart and the other for Rock the Vote - surrounded by completely different groups of people, but sharing the common goal of informing voters and improving the political process.

Rock the Vote stole the show with the appearance of Rep. Robert Wexler, Florida Democrat, and wrestling stars David Bautista and Candice Michelle, also known as the GoDaddy.com model. Mr. Bautista and Miss Michelle were present to re-register to vote and talk about the importance of both registering and voting among young people.

This summer, AT&T; has partnered with Rock the Vote in their campaign to reach young voters across America.

“I think it’s a fabulous effort and [Rock the Vote] should be commended for helping young people register to vote and exercising their political clout,” Mr. Wexler said. “This effort today is essential to that goal; young people have the opportunity to make certain that 13.3 million young Americans get health insurance in the next four years.”

Rock the Vote’s touring vehicle is complete with all kinds of televisions, computers and gadgets. On the street side of the bus is a large projection screen where people can play the video game “Guitar Hero.” On the opposite side is a computer where people can register to vote and a television where public service announcements from various celebrities play on a loop.

Inside the vehicle is a sound studio where people can tape their own public service announcements. All of this is meant to cater to young American voters.

“We are trying to build up [a Short Message Service] list so that we can educate and engage young people and get them excited about the process,” AT&T; spokeswoman Susan Bean said.

Across the parking lot was Project Vote Smart’s tour bus, where people could watch a 10-minute video about the program and all of the work that has gone into the building of its database, which includes considerable amounts of information on each candidate, state and federal politician. It took Project Vote Smart more than 16 years to complete the database, which is available online at VoteSmart.org.

Anything from a politician’s favorite band to campaign-financing information to voting records on specific issues can be viewed on the site.

“We get our background information directly from the candidates,” said Jon Arnold of Project Vote Smart. “The only way it would be incorrect is if they lied about it or filled it out wrong.”

On Wednesday, Project Vote Smart will host a youth voter day to attract and inform young voters throughout the city. On Thursday, they have invited members of Congress to fill out a “political courage test” that asks them how they would vote on certain issues. So far, five lawmakers have committed to the event.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide