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Vote Smart to Highlight 2024 Candidates to Bring Nonpartisan Information to the DSM Community

Vote Smart 2023

November 1, 2023

Vote Smart continues to be the nation’s premier donor-supported voter education program that provides free, nonpartisan information to all Americans. After relocating to Greater Des Moines (DSM) and the campus of Drake University in 2017, we have grown to become a part of the community even as we reflect on the world in which we live.

From Brazil to Malaysia to England, our staff and interns come from around the world to DSM to help protect every American’s right to basic facts about politics. This staff is joined by local Iowans who know where to get the best taco pizza or scotcharoo in addition to who to call to get you into a presidential candidate campaign event. With an annual budget under $2 million, we serve millions of Americans each year at votesmart.org, something we can only do because we attract talented, passionate young people to DSM.

Vote Smart Success

And we keep the internet connection humming! In 2022, we tracked more than 40,000 candidates for political office. For 2024, we’ll cover more. In 2022, we gathered 2 million+ ratings from interest groups across the political spectrum. For 2024, we’ll gather more. And in 2022, we cataloged more than 1 million public statements by candidates and elected officials. No one believes we’ll have anything less than 2 million in 2024.

Of course, for over six years now, Iowa has been our home. Not only is it a great place for our staff and interns to live, but its caucuses and democratic traditions fit well with Vote Smart’s mission. The rich political traditions reflect our own history over the past 30 years. Ordinary Americans have funded Vote Smart with small donations — 97% of them amounting to $250 or less. We literally are a gift from neighbor to neighbor across the entire country.

We couldn’t do it without DSM and the talent that is created here. We see it every day when our interns walk across University Avenue from Drake. We see it when we have a new graduate apply for a staff position from Iowa State University or Grinnell College. We see it when we have donors come in and volunteer to stuff envelopes or write a letter to the editor of their local paper. We also see it in the great partners we have locally — the Downtown Farmers’ Market presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines, TwoTone Creative or Main Street Café. You’ll find Vote Smart at the Iowa State Fair, RAGBRAI and at so many other events around the region.

Your chance to be a part of something positive, nonpartisan and in service to others begins with Vote Smart. Donate your time. Share our message. Use our free information. Stop by our offices at 1153 24th St., just off University Avenue in Des Moines. We are here for you, and we are looking forward to helping more in 2024 with your support.

Visit votesmart.org for more information, including bios, positions, ratings and speeches for candidates and elected officials.

The Partnership's Public Policy team engages with local, state and federal officials to create public policy that generates economic growth, business prosperity and talent development in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The Partnership is a nonpartisan organization.

Dr. Kyle Dell

Dr. Kyle Dell is President of Vote Smart. He served as a dean at Guilford College, taught American politics and environmental policy at the college. In 2021 he retired from Guilford as a professor emeritus. Dr. Dell lives in Greensboro, N.C.