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Grassroots.com bolsters politics site with new services

The political services Web site scores deals with two companies offering products that could make it easier for local candidates to conduct business on the Internet.

Political services Web site Grassroots.com has scored deals with two companies offering products that could make it easier for local candidates to conduct business on the Internet.

The privately held San Bruno, Calif., company today announced that it has acquired NetFile, an online campaign disclosure service, and has inked a partnership with Voteworks.com, which allows candidates to build online headquarters during election season.

"This will give Grassroots customers access to a greater number of federal, state and local candidates," said Jon Goldstein, vice president of sales.

Grassroots, founded six months ago, is a political news site where voters can download video of candidates' speeches or engage in chat room discussions about hot-button political issues. The company also offers online services for candidates to raise money, recruit volunteers and try to sway last-minute voters.

The company joins several other emerging political sites, such as Election.com and Evote.com; Election.com recently conducted the online election services for the Arizona Democratic primary.

Grassroots' agreement with Voteworks will prove most beneficial to lesser-known local political candidates who have not yet ventured onto the Net, said David Chiu, who worked on the deal with the Gaithersburg, Md., company.

"Through the service, candidates will be able to build an elections headquarters online for minimal cost," Chiu said, noting that the introductory offer for e-campaigning election tools is $299.

NetFile allows candidates to file disclosure forms on the Net, which is rapidly becoming a state and federal requirement, said Nishan Majarian, who recently joined Grassroots from NetFile.

About 16 states, including California, Florida and New York, already require candidates to submit compliance paperwork online. Another 16 states are in the process of following suit, Majarian said.

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