Project Vote Smart
, a non-profit political research group, has launched a web application that helps voters suss out which congressional candidates hold similar positions on 12 key issues.
Working much like an online dating service, Project VoteEasy
asks users a set of standardized questions on topics like abortion and gun control and quickly pairs you with your perfect politician, based on the answers they've provided earlier. That is, if the pol even answered the survey. According to Project Vote Smart's press release, less than half of Oregon's congressional candidates were willing to tell voters where they stand on key issues facing the nation. In instances where pols didn't respond to the survey, each response is rooted in the candidate's own words and public records, which can be brought up in detail with a simple click on the candidate's profile.
The Montana-based non-profit (which was founded in the early 1990s at Oregon State University) created the visual information tool based on thousands of hours of research over the past year. One other local connection is that Portland-based Periscopic designed the Project VoteEasy application.
Here's a demonstration on how to use Project VoteEasy: