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AOL joins election guide fray

America Online has launched a new voter guide designed to help people keep track of a wide variety of elections. AOL's Election Guide, created through a partnership with organizations including the League of Women Voters' DemocracyNet, CNN and Capitol Advantage, contains information about national and regional races and issues, message boards where people can discuss upcoming elections, and links to political commentary and news.

With each election, the Web has become more of a destination for people looking to find information quickly in the weeks before they vote. During the 1996 election, even presidential candidates posted sites that were little more than a one-page online pamphlet. Now, many sites offer comprehensive voter information by taking advantage of the Web's bells and whistles--such as directing people to local races by letting them enter a zip code.