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Local Website Caters To Independent Voters

Evening Edition

Above: Chad Peace, the founder of the Independent Voter Network, and Whitney Benjamin, an independent voter, talk to KPBS.

For voters sick of partisan bickering and biased news sources, there's a new place for information: Independent Voter Network, a website that launched in San Diego this year.

The breakdown of California voters as of September 2012.
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Above: The breakdown of California voters as of September 2012.

The online news site's founders say it has seen explosive growth leading up to the November election, which is not surprising considering one-quarter of registered voters in San Diego County, or about 300,000 voters, are not affiliated with a political party.

Chad Peace, the site's founder, said he started it to combat partisanship.

"I started IVN to provide a platform for communication where we can all start talking to each other instead of past one another," he said.

Whitney Benjamin, an independent San Diego voter, said she feels the Democratic and Republican parties are so polarized that she doesn't want to choose one side.

"It depends for me on the topic and what's happening," she said.

Benjamin said she gets her news from USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Show and Twitter.

"I used to read the U-T, but now I feel like it's a little one-sided," she said. "You really have to search for news sources that give you a balanced viewpoint."

Now Peace, a recent University of San Diego law school graduate, is introducing a new feature on IVN devoted to San Diego politics.

"We're launching a local prototype here because we are a very independent-minded group here," he said.

He said while San Diego voters have an independent streak, the site is "about independent-minded voters."

"So that includes all of us, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and people that are registered No Party Preference," he said.

The site is published by the nonprofit Foundation for Independent Voter Education, which gets its money through individual, corporate and union donations.

But Peace stressed the foundation has no say in what news is published on the website.

IVN will host the first ever online presidential debate on October 18 between Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein.

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