Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be. – Sydney J. Harris
How does my vote count on VoterVillage?
VoterVillage improves communication with our elected representatives by measuring real public opinion, voter by voter and district by district, in a way that focuses on issues rather than personalities or political parties.
As this site adds up the results of each poll, they will be displayed for all to see. Beyond voting on polls, comments are invited from anyone who's voted on a poll. Comments gaining the most "LIKES" from other voters will rise to the top of each poll's results page. You may change your vote and invite friends to vote, comment, and LIKE other comments any time.
We'll serve the voters of all political parties (who are officially registered with the Board of Elections) with an honest and convenient public issues platform which invites respectful, articulate, and intelligent debate within local election districts.
We're committed to providing our members with UNBIASED, and TRANSPARENT voting and debates. We require all voters to provide real names and addresses when they register (to verify registration with the BOE and ensure each member votes only once on each poll) but allow anonymity in selecting a "username" for this site (which can be changed by the user anytime). We require that each user first be an officially registered U.S. voter and we actively cross-check user registrations with their official local voting records (which are publicly available).
How did VoterVillage begin?
In January of 2011 my wife and I were driving back to NY from Washington DC, having just visited with our new congressman on his first day in office. We were invited because I'd helped him in the campaign, a first for me after 24 years of town and county politics. I recall wondering why it took actively helping with a winning campaign to get special access to the person who represents us in Washington.
We were standing in our Representative's office on his first day. There were a number of us from the district, joined by several lobbyists, who had followed him back to his office after the swearing-in. The lobbyists were all pressing their business cards into our representative's hands and, though my wife and I would be leaving, the lobbyists were in Washington to stay and would visit regularly. I knew when one of us had something to say we could email, and we'd join a torrent of up to 35,000 emails and calls... per office... per month. (Do we really call that voter access?)
On that day VoterVillage began to take shape. I've built a few websites and I know the web can do amazing things, connecting people in powerful ways. Why not build a website to connect voters directly with their Representative over the issues? Couldn't all voters be invited to a website that does that? Doesn't each member of Congress need to know what their constituents want... not just those who volunteer... or those who give money? Shouldn't they hear from all of us? From all parties? Constantly?
This is what our political system urgently needs! A simple conversation among the voters in each district. Everyone talking. Representatives listening. I hope you'll join, vote, comment & share. ~ Jim Crawford
Both candidates for Representative to Congress in the 23rd District say they will listen attentively to the voters in this district. That’s important because there are other voices in Washington — lobbyists, donors, party leaders, special interest groups, etc. Which candidate do you have more confidence in to represent you, Martha Robertson (Vote A) — OR Tom Reed (Vote B)?
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Some say it must be raised to keep workers out of poverty, while others say raising it would cost jobs in a struggling economy. Do you support Congress raising the minimum wage (Vote A) — OR do you oppose raising it above the current level (Vote B)?
Out of concern for the solvency of Social Security and Medicare, do you support strong reform measures which will apply to future retirees (Vote A) — OR do you believe these concerns about solvency are overstated and can be resolved through incremental smaller remedies (Vote B)?
Do you think congress should play a role in repealing the Common Core education standards (Vote A) — OR do you favor keeping the federal posture of promoting the Common Core standards (Vote B)?
In light of the Ebola crisis in West Africa, do you believe we should restrict travel from those countries (Vote A) — OR are you confident in the policies recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) which currently do not restrict travel (Vote B)?
Has the sharpness of the rhetoric in this race helped to reveal important information about the candidates and the issues (Vote A) — OR have the campaigns been too negative, in a way that obscures the most important issues (Vote B)?
Do you favor the immigration reforms proposed by the US Senate (Vote A) — OR do you oppose the Senate’s proposal and favor proposals coming from the House of Representatives, including a priority on border security and a possible pathway to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants (Vote B)?
Do you oppose increasing restrictions on gun owners such as the NY “SAFE Act” (Vote A) — OR do you favor increasing federal restrictions on the ownership of guns and ammunition (Vote B)?
Do you favor increasing regulations for environmental protection despite the economic or jobs costs (Vote A) — OR do you believe new regulations should be subject to rigorous review over the costs they would likely impose (Vote B)?
Are you concerned enough that potential benefits of hydraulic fracturing won’t outweigh its negative results and thus oppose "fracking" in NY (Vote A) — OR do you believe it can be done safely and should be allowed, for the sake of our economy and lower dependence on foreign energy (Vote B)?
Do you favor 'term limits' restricting the number of times your representative may be re-elected to Congress (Vote A) — OR do you oppose the idea of mandatory term limits (Vote B)?
Regarding the long-term cost of college student loans, do you think the government should take a market-based approach and index student loans to market-based interest rates (Vote A) — OR pass legislation mandating lower rates and help students refinance existing loans at lower rates (Vote B)?
How should our government address Climate Change? Should we begin by recognizing our current dependence on fossil fuels while we develop new technologies in clean coal, natural gas, nuclear power, wind, solar, geothermal, and hydrogen sources of energy (Vote A) — OR should we emphasize transitioning to renewable energy sources and a green economy (Vote B)?
In federal budget negotiations between Congress and the President, would your priority be to find spending cuts and lower the federal deficit (Vote A) — OR would your priority be finding ways to increase revenues to keep funding critical government services (Vote B)?
Do you believe sending US military ground forces into the current conflict with ISIS (or ISIL) in Iraq and/or Syria should remain "on the table of possible options in the future" (Vote A) — OR oppose under any circumstances sending US ground forces into the current conflict with ISIS (Vote B)?
Martha Robertson's campaign says she is "focused on having a conversation" with the voters of the 23rd congressional district, and calls for additional campaign debates, while Tom Reed's campaign is suggesting 3 planned debates are enough to inform the voters. Do you favor additional live debates (Vote A) — OR are 3 debates enough given media coverage of those events (Vote B)?
Which path do you favor in creating energy independence for our country’s future? Do you place more hope in federal investments for conservation and alternative energy research (Vote A) — OR careful federal regulation and support for domestic production of natural gas and oil (Vote B)?
Do you favor keeping the Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA, or Obamacare, as it currently exists (Vote A) — OR making changes to and/or repealing the current health care law (Vote B)?
To improve education, do you favor more federal investment in pre-kindergarten, more job training for the unemployed, adequately supporting public schools, making college more affordable, and accessible, quality job training and apprenticeship programs for older workers (Vote A) — OR restoring local control to school districts, having standards and curriculum set by states and local educators, placing more responsibility and empowering parents in their children’s education, and providing options to students regarding the skyrocketing cost of college (Vote B)?