I came back Monday from two business trips to find a string of thank-you emails from readers who love the new interactive voters guide at Kansas.com. I’m delighted that so many Eagle readers and Kansas.com users like the new online voters guide, which is a significant improvement over what we have been able to offer in the past.
Marcia Werts, an assistant metro editor, and Nick Jungman, deputy editor/interactive, did most of the work to bring you searchable profiles on 713 candidate running in 410 races in Sedgwick, Butler, Harvey and Sumner counties. Along with biographical information, profiles include candidate responses on key election issues. We were able to create this site with a lot of hard work by Marcia, Nick and other newsroom staffers, plus a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to our Web partner, E-ThePeople.org, to build the site with us.
Feedback on the site has been terrific, and to answer a couple of readers’ questions: yes, we plan to do it again for the November elections. Several readers appreciated that the “build your ballot” feature found candidates for them when they weren’t sure which district they lived in for a particular office. Another woman wrote, “Because of this site I was able to persuade my husband to peruse his parties races and to do an advance vote in the primary since we will be in Colorado on the day of the election.”
The way we see it, that’s the ultimate success for us with this election toolkit: Giving citizens the information they need to help them take part in the democratic process. To all who dropped me a note, thanks for the feedback.