Philipsburg ranch is home to national political research center


Philipsburg ranch is home to national political research center 10-11-12

PHILIPSBURG, Mont. - A nonprofit political research group is busy this election season helping sort through campaigns to bring voters the facts.

It's called Project Vote Smart (PVS), a national nonpartisan group that works year-round gathering information about candidates and political issues.

Tim Holme is a retired government teacher and military officer.

"American government in addition to other things for 15 years," said Holme.

While those careers are over, his love for political science is not. That's what brought him to the Great Divide Ranch, home of PVS.

"This is a contribution. I feel it's worthwhile," said Holme.

On the 150-acre ranch hundreds of volunteers and staff members work to double check the facts. They work tirelessly to provide voters with the most important information about candidates and political issues. People like Holme volunteer to help with the research.

"We bend over backwards to make sure that we are nonpartisan," said Holme.

Holme and other volunteers, along with recent college graduates and intern live and work on the ranch. It's about 20 miles outside of Philipsburg, near Moose Lake.

Colleen Roache is from New Jersey, she's spending six weeks at PVS.

"We gather information, go through speeches, press releases and facebook pages and all the social media," Roache said.

The work Roache and others do will be double-, even triple-checked, before it makes it on the PVS website for people across the country to access. They pride themselves on being a source citizens can trust and rely on.

"Our ability to be absolutely nonpartisan and unbiased in everything that we do," said PVS National Director Kristen Vicedomini.

They have one motto: ‘Check your politics at the door.'

Holme said that's the most important part. "This is a place where they can go and trust what they find online." 

No one can join Vote Smart's Board of Directors without a political opposite. People as diverse as former Presidents Carter and Ford, and Former Senators McGovern and Goldwater have served on the board.

Vote Smart refuses financial assistance from all organizations and special interest groups that lobby, support or oppose any candidate or issue.

For more on Project Vote Smart click here.

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