The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

87° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Nonprofit political research group to open branch at UA

    Provost George Davis speaks at the press conference welcoming the Vote Smart program to the university while Richard Kimball, President of Project Vote Smart, Edward Donnerstein, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and ASUA President Erin Hertzog listen.
    Provost George Davis speaks at the press conference welcoming the Vote Smart program to the university while Richard Kimball, President of Project Vote Smart, Edward Donnerstein, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and ASUA President Erin Hertzog listen.

    A national research group for voters will be creating a new facility at the UA in an attempt to increase student participation in politics.

    Project Vote Smart, a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen research group, is nationally know for educating voters on their state legislatures through reports of candidates, said Richard Kimball, president of Project Vote Smart.

    Mark Hart, director for the Tucson office of Project Vote Smart, will be accepting applications for the 80 student internships that will be offered through the organization.

    The facility, which will be located on East Helen Street across from the Eller College of Management, is slated for completion by January, Kimball said.

    Project Vote Smart’s main headquarters is located in Philipsburg, Mont. The new facility that will be in Tucson is a branch of the main headquarters, although Kimball said he sees this branch as the future of the organization, a statement Provost George Davis echoed.

    This organization allows us to have concrete, tangible information that is not biased to directly give to students.
    – Erin Hertzog, ASUA president

    “”PVS’ fundamental mission work will help to engage students in informing them not only in voting but will help them in the papers they will write,”” Davis said.

    Interns will conduct mass research, including background checks on candidates, their campaign finances, past careers, evaluations and finding out what organizations the candidates belonged to, Kimball said.

    Kimball said interns will also list and explain bills that state legislators have voted for and against and make the information available to all U.S. citizens.

    Edward Donnerstein, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, said students who help create the database will learn about local candidates, thereby increasing their political involvement.

    Students will also help to compile and keep up-to-date the database of speeches and utterances that legislators have made, said Kimball.

    Citizens can search on PVS’ Web site for any word that a legislator has said.

    “”The research that will be done at the UA through this program will help people all over the country to get information on the legislators that they normally wouldn’t be able to attain easily,”” Kimball said.

    Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Erin Hertzog said she is excited about the program coming to the UA campus.

    “”ASUA has the unique but difficult responsibility of educating voters on campus,”” Hertzog said. “”This organization allows us to have concrete, tangible information that is not biased to directly give to students.””

    Internships will not be paid, but students will be able to get credit for their work, Hart said.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search