Vote Smart is the nation's defender of self-government guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution of the United States. We believe, as James Madison once wrote, that "a popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy...and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." Vote Smart is dedicated to a mission of providing this knowledge to all American citizens as an essential resource for the protection of informed self-government for generations to come. Vote Smart will accomplish this by:
- Providing all citizens with accurate, abundant, relevant information on candidates, incumbents, and issues free of charge whenever they have a question or concern;
- Upholding the highest standards of accuracy, balance, and integrity of any information gathered or shared;
- Maintaining strict non-partisanship in both our data and programs, through a review and approval process established and conducted by our Founding Board, which must remain balanced across the political spectrum;
- Accepting funding only from private citizens and foundations without corporate ties;
- Relying on the commitment of volunteers, interns, and staff members willing to accept minimal compensation as the primary source of labor in gathering and sharing this information;
- Using all available public information channels (i.e., electronic, telephone, print, media, public libraries) to disseminate the information gathered.