“Vote.CTNewsJunkie.com”HARTFORD, CT — CTNewsJunkie’s latest addition is Vote.CTNewsJunkie.com — a Voter Guide and Candidate Questionnaire.

The site is actually an application that renders as a website and is here as a service to both General Assembly candidates who need to get their message out, and to voters who need to learn more about candidates in order to make an informed decision.

The site is a 1.0 version and has a lot of bells and whistles, so to speak, on its way to bigger and better next year.

On arrival, visitors are asked to allow the site to access your location — when you access from home, this means you’ll be able to quickly ascertain who is running for the General Assembly locally.

We’ve also included access to a separate Voter Resource Center from Phone2Action that will allow visitors to check your voter registration, find out who all of your local/state/federal candidates are, locate your polling place, and it will also even show you how to start the process of registering to vote and/or vote absentee.

But the goal here is to get as much participation as possible from all of Connecticut’s General Assembly candidates, and then to push their completed questionnaires out to as many readers as possible. Once the candidates have completed their questionnaire, their pages can be shared on social networks — either their District page or Candidate page.

You can find a specific District or Candidate using the menu buttons, and Districts that contain a completed questionnaire are highlighted with a green checkmark.

We’ve also set up an “endorse” function for voters to show their support. It requires a quick registration via email and once you’ve done that and endorsed a candidate, you are prompted with the candidate’s page and the option to share that endorsement on Twitter or Facebook. Each candidate’s endorsement total will be tracked at the top of their questionnaire. Have at it!

***As an added incentive to register and use our endorse option, we’re giving away a CTNewsJunkie bumper sticker to a random selection of 10 people who register and endorse their preferred candidate AND share it on Twitter or Facebook. And we’ll sweeten the deal by also throwing in a new CTNewsJunkie coffee mug for five of the 10 winners as well. The drawing will take place after the election.

And yes, we’re launching this site pretty late in the election season, but that’s the way it goes sometimes when you develop new technology. But we have ironed out some bugs in the process so that we can make spectacular use of an even better version of this platform in the next election. Feel free to if you’re having any problems using the site or if you have some suggestions.

And our gratitude goes out to Matt Zagaja, who basically built this thing from scratch based on a few loosely organized ideas. Thanks Matt!

We also want to thank AARP Connecticut for coming onboard as our inaugural sponsor for this project! You’ll note that three of the questions in our survey came from AARP Connecticut and are noted as such. We also got questions from some of our writers here at CTNewsJunkie and one question even came from students in Manchester Community College’s Comm 108 class, where CTNewsJunkie Business Manager Doug Hardy is an instructor this semester.

If you are part of an organization that would like to sponsor a question or two next year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We have a pretty big megaphone for your questions.

Candidates — if you or your campaign manager haven’t received an email from our system inviting you to fill out your questionnaire, and we’ll get you setup to complete the questionnaire as soon as possible.

—Christine Stuart & the CTNewsJunkie crew