Living Voters Guide available online

By the Herald staffOctober 7, 2013 

The Herald is taking part in an interactive and nonpartisan voters guide for statewide and local ballot issues.

The Living Voters Guide provides information on statewide and county-level ballot measures and initiatives. It allows users to deliberate issues, endorse points and add their own perspectives.

Users enter their ZIP codes to get the state and local ballot measures they will vote on. The program then gives the constitutionality, economic impact and sources of funding for each ballot measure.

Benton County voters can access information on the proposed sales tax increase to expand the Three Rivers Convention Center and increase the property tax for Benton Fire District 1.

Franklin County voters can learn about proposals to change the city of Pasco's form of government to mayor-council from the current council-city manager and to de-annex an area that used to be part of the west Pasco "doughnut hole." They also can discuss a proposed tax levy lid lift for Franklin Fire District 3.

Users can discuss the issues back and forth on the site, while submitting pros and cons. It is designed to evolve from its launch in October until the Nov. 5 election.

Participants are required to pledge that they will focus on issues and not make personal attacks on others

Users can even request that statements made by other users be fact checked. A librarian with the Seattle Public Library will label the claim with a status of "accurate," "questionable" or "unverifiable." The librarian will post further information and the sources used to evaluate the claim.

The program is a partnership between CityClub of Seattle and the University of Washington's Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

The Living Voters Guide has engaged more than 30,000 users across the state in the three years it has been around, according to the CityClub.

To access the site, go to www.livingvotersguide.org or follow the link on the election section at tricityherald.com.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

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