Blog Goes For Issues Over Politics

As the presidential primaries approach, those puzzled about politics may no longer have an excuse to avoid the polls.

A blog, VoteGopher.com, founded by a Harvard student aims to provide “real information for real people” and to encourage young Americans to participate in the democratic process. Launched on Sunday, the site has been tipped for success by 2004 election bloggers.

“We want to encourage all people, especially Americans under 30, to learn about the issues, to get involved in the election, and to ultimately vote,” said the site’s founder William M. Ruben ’10.

VoteGopher strives to present election information without engaging in political mudslinging. Its contributors, all of whom have taken non-partisan oaths, summarize the candidates’ political platforms. The Web site also posts news and opinion pieces from a variety of outside sources, after VoteGopher’s editors have screened the articles.

One of the Web site’s content editors, Elizabeth L. Altmaier ’10, said that when opinion pieces lean toward one side, the author’s reasoning should be “fair and thoroughly explained.”

This policy comes from VoteGopher’s mission to be an “information hub” where voters can find balanced information, Ruben said.

Bloggers from Wonkette and Instapundit.com, two popular 2004 election blogs, said that VoteGopher may be able to carve out its own niche in the world of political blogs.

“I think that a lot of times, students look at things in sort of a fresh way and can be sort of immune to the Washington convention,” said Gregory W. Wasserstrom, a regular contributor to Wonkette during the past year.

Glenn H. Reynolds, creator of Instapundit and a law professor at the University of Tennessee, also gave his approval to VoteGopher.

“From what I can tell, VoteGopher looks like it’s aimed at covering the substantive issues rather than the politics, and that seems like a useful thing,” Reynolds said.

As the election progresses, the VoteGopher staff will update the candidate profiles and are looking to expand coverage to other state and national elections as well.