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Mo. congressional candidates added to website

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – A national website designed to clue voters in on where U.S. House and Senate candidates stand on issues has added Missouri's slate of congressional hopefuls to its database.

Montana-based Project Vote Smart created the site, called Vote Easy. Board Member Adelaide Kimball says they use comments and public records of candidates to predict where they stand on issues like immigration, gun control and abortion. They also asked Missouri's congressional candidates to fill out surveys, though many of them did not.

"There were 18 candidates for U.S. House and Senate who were not willing to answer any questions at all," Kimball said. "There were 13 who did answer at least some of the questions."

Among those who did not participate were Missouri's two main U.S. Senate candidates, Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Robin Carnahan.

Kimball also says incumbents were less likely to take part in their survey, as compared to challengers, and that most candidates don't like telling voters how they would vote on such issues as abortion, immigration and gun control.

"They've crafted messages that they think will help them win," Kimball said. "What Vote Smart has done is take their public statements and their records, their public records, and we've spent thousands of hours of researching their likely answers."

The database can be found online at voteeasy.org.