Masthead CMC Magazine / April 1, 1996
 Building Democracy Online, by Scott Aikens and Erna Koch

The Origin of the Minnesota E-Democracy Project

In the fall of 1994, the Minnesota E-Democracy Project created an electronic meeting space where candidates could answer public questions and critique their opponents - and where citizens could find detailed information on Minnesota politics, comment on the candidates, and discuss the democratic process. This was the first statewide political debate in the country conducted online in "cyberspace." All the candidates for governor (and later the candidates for U.S. Senate seats in Minnesota) participated in the electronic debate, which had been initiated by a --citizens' groups. It was also the first interactive statewide political online forum.

Section excerpted, with permission, from the prerelease draft of "State and Local Strategies for Connecting Communities" by the Benton Foundation and the Center for Policy Alternatives.

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