Project Vote Smart Bus rolls into St. John’s for two days

With the political season in full swing, St. John’s Participate in ’08 initiative hopes to further educate student voters on the positions of state and federal political candidates. As part of that effort, organizers have enlisted the services of the Project Vote Smart Bus on the Queens and Staten Island campuses as part of its national tour.

The mobile unit will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Staten Island campus Oct. 14 and on the Queens campus Oct. 16. Project Vote Smart is a non-profit, non-partisan research effort supported mainly by volunteers.

The organization, which classifies itself as “the voter’s self-defense system,” collects and provides information about candidates running for federal, state and local offices across the country. More than 40,000 candidates are featured in the Project Vote Smart online library, according to the group’s website. The Project Vote Smart database gives voters access to candidates’ biographies, issue positions, voting records, public statements and campaign finance data.

“I think this is a good opportunity for students to visit the bus and receive clear, concise and unbiased information on all candidates running for office,” said Brian Browne, St. John’s Assistant Vice President of Government Relations.

In the event students cannot visit the bus, Browne suggests students access the Project Vote Smart’s official website, votesmart.org to find the same information about candidates.

“I would encourage everyone to come down, get involved and take advantage of a great opportunity to do more research on candidates before they head to the polls in November,” he said.

In between the two St. John’s visits, the bus will travel to Hofstra University Oct 15, coinciding with the third and final presidential debate.