DECATUR — “Where’s my polling place again?”
The number of people asking themselves — and Google — that question before elections can be in the tens of thousands, according to Adam Kravitz.
He would know. Kravitz is the CEO and founder of eVoter, a nonpartisan election information site that can tell voters who is on their ballots, what those candidates say about themselves and what organizations have endorsed them.
“There’s still kind of this thought in political campaigns that the Internet is for, you know, young voters … when in fact, it’s how you reach everybody,” Kravitz said.
The service is accessible through the Herald & Review website, www.herald-review.com.
“It’s a good service for our readers and helps keep them informed,” said Dave Dawson, Herald & Review managing editor. “They can go to our website and find a lot of information about candidates in our databases and also plug their addresses into eVoter and get a sample ballot. It must be doing its job, because we are getting a lot of traffic going to eVoter.”
Candidates and organizations can create profiles and list endorsements on the website for free. Kravitz said they must enter their ID numbers and the profiles are reviewed by staff to make sure they are legitimate.
Illinois was the first state to debut the service during its 2010 primary. Now, Kravitz said eVoter has expanded to all 50 states, although it remains particularly useful in Illinois, where the information online varies from county to county.
Kravitz said the service offers a centralized location to learn about all the candidates on the ballot, including those that do not particularly get a lot of media coverage.
“People are going to come into the booth, and it’s going to take them 10, 15 minutes to vote. By the time they get to these races at the bottom they’re going to be tired, uninterested,” Kravitz said. “… If a local candidate can touch these people at the time they’re actually interested, at the time they’re actually making their decision, this is a huge opportunity for down-ballot candidates to reach voters.”