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Site gives Arizonans voice, vote in session

Ken Bennett

Only registered voters welcome at www.azvoices.gov

PHOENIX - Registered voters will get a chance to participate in the Arizona Legislature through a new website that allows them to vote on bills and discuss the issues affecting the state.

Arizona Voices, located online at www.azvoices.gov, was unveiled recently at the state Capitol by Secretary of State Ken Bennett and state Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa. Arizona is the first state in the U.S. to host a website of this kind. It was developed by MindMixer, an Omaha-based technology company.

"Arizona Voices was created to allow people living in remote areas or who don't have time to attend committee meetings at the Legislature to participate in the process of discussing public policy," said Bennett.

"Coming down to the Capitol to personally express your thoughts and concerns on bills can be extremely inconvenient for most people who are working and going about their daily lives. This unique platform offers voters a chance to express their opinions without fighting traffic in Phoenix."

Registered Arizona voters can rate bills on a scale from strongly approve to strongly disapprove and legislators can see how public opinion is trending on any bill in real time. The new approach will create a new channel for ideas to come to the Legislature from the citizens who have concerns about the vision and future of the state.

Arizona Voices is a new platform whose time has come, said Worsley, and is expected to become a place where voters can discuss and resolve policy issues. On the Ideas page, voters can propose solutions to the problems they believe a new law will address, he added.

"Arizona Voices is a place where, for the first time in any state in the country, you can have a direct say in the laws of our state online," said Worsley. "We invite voters to weigh in on the bills proposed in the state Legislature, show their support for the bills they favor, and express concern about the ones they don't."

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