On the Issues

On the Issues or OnTheIssues is an American non-partisan, non-profit organization providing information to American voters on American candidates, primarily via their website.[1] The organization was started in 1996, went non-profit in 2000, and is currently run primarily by volunteers.[2]

On the Issues
Formation1996; 26 years ago (1996)
FounderJesse Gordon
Legal statusNon-profit
PurposeStore American candidates' views and records for American voters
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Missoula, Montana
OwnerNaomi Lichtenberg
Parent organization

The owner and CEO of On the Issues is Dr. Naomi Lichtenberg. The editor-in-chief and content manager is Jesse Gordon. The organization is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Missoula, Montana.[3]

The organization's stated mission is to help voters pick candidates "based on issues rather than on personalities and popularity." They obtain their information from newspapers, speeches, press releases, book excerpts, House and Senate voting records, Congressional bill sponsorships, political affiliations and ratings, and campaign websites from the Internet.[3]

OnTheIssues has a reputation for helping voters to make educated decisions.[4] Among other things, they offer an online quiz "that aims to bring together the politically compatible – a wonk's version of an online dating service."[5] The "VoteMatch Quiz" has 20 questions, and matches users' answers against candidates for president and for Congress. The quiz also assigns a "political philosophy" by analyzing the answers on social and economic issues.

The OnTheIssues website is characterized by heavy content and a lack of fancy technical features: an "information-rich, plain-jane site," according to U.S. News and World Report.[6] The website contains 75,000 pages covering about 1,000 incumbents and challengers,[7] as of early 2014.

On the Issues collaborated with Americans Elect to prepare for the AmericansElect.org convention in June 2012 by preparing platforms of questions for members of Congress, governors, mayors, and numerous other possible nominees.[8] As with the VoteMatch quiz, the Americans Elect platforms were inferred from voting records, bill sponsorships, and other public statements.

Recent activities of On the Issues include the launch of an application on the iTunes store. Called Pres2016, it presented content on 2016 presidential contenders' views on various issues, from content available on the website.

In the fall of 2015, On the Issues began a collaboration with the internet search engine Bing to provide balanced and impartial political content for a Bing political quiz which itself is based on a text parsing tool.

In early 2019, fact-checking website Snopes announced that it had acquired the OnTheIssues website, and is "hard at work modernizing its extensive archives".[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ OnTheIssues.org. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
  2. ^ "Political non-profit organizer" (YouTube interview with Jesse Gordon of OnTheIssues.org). Retrieved 2008-05-18.
  3. ^ a b "About", On The Issues. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
  4. ^ Elder, Jeff and Paynter, Marion. Web's many offerings are a political potpourri, Knight-Ridder via Baltimore Sun (2004-09-16): "There are excellent nonpartisan sites that can help you reach an educated decision on issues and races. You might start with www.OnTheIssues.org...." Retrieved May 18, 2008.
  5. ^ Calvan, Bobby. "Political matches made in cyberspace: Online 'dating games' aim to help voters find compatible candidates", Sacramento Bee (January 24, 2008). Retrieved May 18, 2008.
  6. ^ "Review of www.govote.com (OnTheIssues' VoteMatch quiz)". 2000-01-31.
  7. ^ "OnTheIssues.org Q & A: In preparation for Software Freedom Day, The Sunlight Foundation panel on government transparency". 2013-09-21.
  8. ^ "Americans Elect could put Buddy Roemer on presidential ballot". 2011-11-25.
  9. ^ "Snopes Acquires On The Issues". Snopes. Retrieved April 13, 2019.

External linksEdit