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U-Me Vote relaunched for 2006 election
Experiment in networked democracy helps students and professors inform and debate election issues


If you feel unprepared for the 2006 midterm elections, you're not alone. Between now and next Tuesday folks across the nation will be scrambling to educate themselves and persuade others about candidates, referendums, and issues.

Fortunately, that scramble just got easier. At U-Me Vote, you'll find non-partisan information and debate about issues directly affecting UMaine students, as well as practical information on where to vote and what to bring.

More than a list of candidates and positions, U-Me Vote empowers students, faculty, and others in the UMaine community to add their voices to a public debate. This collaborative Web site invites you to contribute comments, point to online resources, and otherwise inform as well as be informed.

The 2006 version of U-Me Vote also includes a special project by U-Me grad student Paul Schroeder: a downloadable postcard for use by anyone interested in sharing their opinions or stimulating voter turnout.



When U-Me Vote originally launched in the run-up to the 2004 US presidential elections, it received acclaim from both sides of the political spectrum, as this excerpt from a 2004 news release confirms:

"I haven't really seen many non-partisan Web sites," says Mia E. Dow, campaign coordinator for UMaine Republicans. "I certainly haven't seen a Web site like the one Joline and Jon have put up. That is a really good database. It seems like … a good resource for people to have."

Steven J. Butterfield, president of the UMaine College Democrats, agrees, and adds that he is aware of some students getting conflicting information with regard to voter registration. Students, both Butterfield and Dow say, are passionate about some of the campaign issues. Discussions about some will lead to education about others, Butterfield says.

"Kids are starting to realize that a lot of these issues are starting to affect them," he says. "Once you get past healthcare and prescription drugs, students are starting to realize there's a lot going on out there."

Anything that helps students take a more active role in the electoral process, he says, is good. "Any place that provides one-stop-shopping is even better."


Students represent a powerful and often underestimated force in electoral politics. Don't underestimate yourself--learn, spread the word, and vote!



Updated: 2006-11-15 by Jon Ippolito

Updated: 2006-11-15 by Jon Ippolito
Posted 2006-11-01 10:03:45 by Jon Ippolito
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