Project The Pew Center for Civic Journalism
1101 Connecticut Ave, NW Suite 410
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 331-3200
Fax: (202) 347-6440
As of Friday, March 29, the Citizen's Election Project officially ceased
to exist, as had been the plan all along. What follows is a final
description of the CEP partnerships, and what the future holds in each state.
Boston: "People's Voice"
The Boston Partnership, which concentrated on the town of Derry, NH,
during the primaries, will return its focus to Massachusetts and the
ongoing debate over the role of government. In addition to several
local congressional races, the partners will closely follow the
senate race between incumbent Democratic Senator John Kerry and
Republican Governor William Weld. They are planning to conduct a
statewide issues poll, citizen deliberation groups and candidate
New Hampshire: "Voters' Voice"
The partners plan to continue their series of citizen forums. Candidates
in the senate, gubernatorial and two congressional races will be
invited to meet with New Hampshire citizens in small group forums.
They are also entertaining the idea of sponsoring citizen-oriented
debates among the candidates. "Voters' Voice" is also hoping to
expand their partnership.
Iowa: "Voice of the People"
The partners will now turn their attention to the Iowa senate race in
which incumbent Tom Harkin, a liberal Democrat, will face one of the
three conservative Republicans currently vying for the nomination. Deb
Brasier at The Quad City Times says that this contest will be a
good test of the town-meeting concept and the other civic journalism
tools that they used in their primary coverage.
Iowa: "Students and the Caucuses"
Stating that they have developed "a prototype for using this format" for
connecting young voters with the candidates, David Yepsen of The Des
Moines Register says that the partners have begun discussing how they
can use student/candidate videoconferences in the upcoming general
election. Yepsen cited a recent CNN story that claims "motor voter"
registration will double the number of registered voters between the ages
of 18 and 21 since the 1992 election. The format used in the "Students
and the Caucuses" project is one way to reach out to this constituency of
Florida: "Voices of Florida"
The partners were forced to cancel a planned March 10 candidates forum in
Miami when only two of the nine candidates invited agreed to take part.
Despite repeated faxes and phone calls, the Dole, Forbes and Buchanan
campaigns did not respond to the invitation. The Voices of Florida
partnership plans to continue their program through the general election.
California: "Voices of the Voter"
Due to the reduced number of candidates by the time of the California
primary on March 26, the partners decided to cancel their plans for a
candidate debate. They did collaborate on a voters' guide, with
information on candidates for the judicial bench and the state
legislature, that was published in the San Francisco Chronicle.
The partners plan to continue their collaboration through the November
election and are at work on a series on transportation issues in the Bay
The partners are currently in the middle of a seven-week series of issues
stories based on the results of a statewide poll conducted in January.
Health care, education and financial security will be featured in the
coming weeks. Two voter forums will give the citizens of North Carolina
the opportunity to question candidates running for senate and governor
in the walk-up to the May 7 primary. On April 13, the first forum will
be broadcast statewide from Duke University over five commercial
television stations. Voters will question the candidates in the senate
Democratic primary. The winner of this primary will go on the face
Senator Jesse Helm in the November election. On April 27, a second
voters forum will give citizens the opportunity to question the
Republican candidates in the gubernatorial primary.
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