DonateSign upAbout

Get to know the candidates:

Click below to go to read a candidate's letter to MoveOn members and his or her interview responses.

Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun
Governor Howard Dean
Senator John Edwards
Congressman Dick Gephardt
Senator Bob Graham
Senator John Kerry
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Senator Joe Lieberman
Reverend Al Sharpton

Frequently Asked Questions about the Political Action Primary

Important Links:

Register to vote in the MoveOn Primary:

Request a new email ballot if you have not received yours within a few hours of the start of voting (12:00 am, Tuesday, June 24):


Q. Why is MoveOn having a primary, and why this early?

Normally, at this stage in a presidential race the only early influencers are pollsters, pundits and high-dollar donors. The MoveOn Primary is a chance for hundreds of thousands of ordinary voters to make their voices heard in time for them to count.

This is also a chance for thousands of MoveOn members to get involved in a campaign of their choice and begin building a movement to defeat Bush. In the process of voting, each participant will be asked to support their candidate by contributing, volunteering and signing up for the candidate's email list. We believe that the more voters that can be involved at this stage, the better. Next summer, MoveOn will work hard to keep everyone engaged in the presidential campaign to defeat Bush even if their first-choice candidate does not get the Democratic nomination.

Q. What do the presidential campaigns have to gain by participating in the MoveOn primary?

The MoveOn Primary was designed specifically to help all nine declared Democratic campaigns connect with supporters among the MoveOn base. Never in MoveOn's history have we worked so hard to refer our members to other Web sites and other mailing lists as we are now in the MoveOn Primary. Already, many have visited and signed up on candidates sites from the candidate pages posted on During the voting itself, we will take the exceptional step of asking our members if they would like us to give their email address to their chosen candidate's mailing lists. Will also provide campaign contribution links and volunteer signup links on the "thank you page" the members will see after voting.

Q. How does the voting work?

Voting will take place Tuesday, June 24th 12:00 am to Wednesday, June 25th 11:59 pm (Eastern time.) To vote, participants must receive an email ballot. Each ballot will contain a link that will look something like this:

That code at the end of the link identifies an individual voter. When the voter clicks on the link they are brought to their own unique MoveOn Primary electronic ballot. Each voter link only allows one vote. If a voter forwards his or her link to others, or posts it on a Web site, that will not allow others to place additional votes. One link, one vote.

Q. Do all voters have to register in order to receive ballots?

Existing MoveOn members do not have to register to receive ballots. Someone who is not on our mailing list already will have to register to receive a ballot. Here is the link to the registration page:

Registration will be open until the voting begins at 12:00 am, June 24th.

Q. What about people with more than one email address?

Our ballot will include strong legal language requiring that participants have only voted once, with a single email address. We will also require street address and phone numbers for all voters. If a new registrant methodically registers with many email addresses from their own domain (their own Web server), we will be able to see that in our database and we will not count those votes. We are employing a variety of technical measures to identify fraudulent voting.

Q. How will MoveOn verify the results of the online vote? Political Action has contracted with an independent polling firm to verify the results of the online vote. The firm will take a telephone survey of people who voted in the Political Action primary. We expect the results of that scientific "exit poll" to confirm that the results of our online vote are a valid representation of the voters' choices.

Q. Who wins?

The candidate who wins a 50% majority in the primary will win MoveOn's endorsement. If no candidate wins 50%, then our candidate engagement process will continue. We will offer our members several more opportunities to get to know the candidates and to get involved in their campaigns.

We feel that we have set the bar extremely high. If a candidate at this early stage could capture the support of a majority of a broad and diverse cross section of voters in a field of nine candidates, that would be an astounding demonstration of his or her strength and viability.

Q. What happens if the numbers from the poll do not match the numbers from the online survey?

When we release the results, we will most likely release a few different sets of data in order to make this vote as transparent as possible: the overall online results, the results from new registrants, the results from the existing MoveOn base, and the results of the telephone survey. For MoveOn to designate a winner in the primary, one candidate will need to have an unambiguous majority -- one which is not seriously questioned by any of the primary result sets.

Q. Why did MoveOn only send out emails from three candidates?

Sending out three candidate emails was the best way to get the attention of our members for ALL candidates: each of the three emails began with a prominent link to candidate letters and interviews on our Web site from all nine contenders. Those pages have seen heavy traffic and, with direct links to candidate websites, have made it easy for MoveOn members to get involved in the campaigns of their choice.

Q. How did MoveOn decide which three candidate emails to send out?

In late April, MoveOn held a straw poll among its membership which revealed a top tier of candidates in whom our members were most interested: Gov. Dean, Sen. Kerry and Rep. Kucinich. The straw poll was closed to existing MoveOn members only.

Q. Did everyone receive all three candidate emails?

MoveOn sent all three candidate emails to our entire United States mailing list and all three emails went out with no technical hitches. However, many internet service providers, who manage our members email accounts, use methods of blocking unsolicited emails that also block legitimate emails from large mailing lists such as ours. The methods many ISPs use can work unpredictably, letting through some of our emails but not others. We sent all three candidate emails in exactly the same way. Also, each email began with a prominent link to the letters and interviews from all nine candidates -- each email gave the recipient an easy way to hear from your campaign whether it was featured or not.

There was a special case in which a very small number of people who registered very early for primary received our first candidate email. At that time, we did not anticipate that the presidential campaigns would drive so many supporters to register. Therefore, we sent the first candidate letter not only to our existing membership, but also people who had recently registered for the primary. In our estimation, the number of supporters from an individual campaign (who were not already on our mailing list) who received that first email is under 100. Keep in mind that many of your supporters are already on our mailing list, and therefore will receive the candidate emails whether or not they registered to vote.

Q. What if email ballots are stopped by spam blockers?

The vast majority of ballots sent will be received. However, a page will be available on our Web site once the voting begins where voters can request a new ballot to be sent:

Q. When will MoveOn announce the primary results? Will MoveOn release the results of the telephone poll?

We will announce the results of the MoveOn Primary on Friday, June 27. We may release a few different sets of data to represent the pre-Primary MoveOn base, the new registrants, the overall results, and the results of the telephone survey.

Q. What should voters do if the MoveOn website goes down?

We do not anticipate this happening, however if there is a technical problem that interferes with voting, please just check back later until the problem has been fixed and voting continues.