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2003 Elections

This newsletter was emailed to our Smart Voter News distribution list on September 3, 2003:

Top five finalists to share $250,000 award for applying technology to improve quality of life around the world

SACRAMENTO September 3, 2003 Today, the League of Women Voters of California was named one of 25 laureates for the prestigious 2003 Tech Museum Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity presented by Applied Materials, Inc. The Tech Museum of Innovation, located in San Jose, California announced the laureates. In Silicon Valley where technology is considered a way of life, The Tech Museum Awards were developed to recognize the need to bridge existing technology in emerging countries and emerging technologies in developed countries.

The League of Women Voters of California has been selected a laureate for the Knight Ridder Equality Award.

The League of Women Voters is being recognized for Smartvoter.org, a comprehensive web site that provides objective, nonpartisan background information on the candidates and complex issues that appear on California's election ballots. Voters visiting the site can input their address to find their polling place and receive a customized ballot, local measure sites, related newspaper articles and more election sites. Smartvoter.org also provides a means for all candidates in participating counties to publish information about themselves and their candidacy directly to voters and without cost.

"We're honored that Smartvoter.org has been recognized as a tool that is improving the quality of life," said Trudell Een, Project Director for Smart Voter. "It is critical that California voters have access to objective and impartial information that enables them to make educated decisions about the future of their state."

On October 15, at a black tie Awards Gala, Silicon Valley leaders and delegates from the United Nations will join together to honor all 25 laureates, and one laureate from each category will be awarded a $50,000 cash honorarium.

The awards, presented in partnership with the American Council for the United Nations University and Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society, are designed to honor individuals, for-profit companies, and public and not-for-profit organizations from around the world who are applying technology to profoundly improve the human condition in the categories of education, equality, environment, economic development, and health.

This year, an esteemed panel of judges considered more than 500 nominations, representing 70 countries. The 25 2003 Tech Laureates come from Bangladesh, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Nepal, and the United States.

"Reflecting the mission of The Tech Museum of Innovation, these awards recognize the innovators who use technology to improve people's lives," says Peter Giles, president and chief executive officer of The Tech. "Through these awards, The Tech inspires future scientists, technologists, and social entrepreneurs to harness the incredible power and promise of technology to solve the challenges that confront us at the dawn of the 21st Century."

"The Tech Museum Awards continue to attract the finest examples of technology creatively put to use for the benefit of people around the world," stated Jim Morgan, Chairman of presenting sponsor Applied Materials. "In the three years of the program we have brought greater awareness and recognition to the laureates and their world changing technologies, and we will continue to work to replicate and expand their work around the globe."

For more information on the awards and laureates, visit http://techawards.thetech.org.

About the League of Women Voters of California
The League of Women Voters of California is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and works to increase understanding of major public policy issues.

About The Tech Museum Awards
The concept for The Tech Museum Awards and its five categories was inspired in part by The State of the Future at the Millennium report of The Millennium Project of the American Council for the United Nations University, which recommends that award recognition is an effective way to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and technological applications to improve the human condition. The Awards were inaugurated in 2001.

Judging for The Tech Museum Awards is independently conducted by Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology and Society, a global network of academic and industry experts dedicated to understanding and influencing how science and technology impact society. They assemble five panels of judges from around the world, recruited from research institutions, industry and the public sector, who judged the nominations on five set criteria.

The Tech Museum Awards Partners
The Tech Museum Awards represent a collaborative effort among educational institutions and business. Among Silicon Valley's leaders supporting The Tech Museum Awards are presenting sponsor, Applied Materials, Inc. and Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology and Society. Category sponsors are the NASDAQ Stock Market, Knight Ridder, Intel, and Accenture.

About The Tech Museum of Innovation
Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Silicon Valley, Calif., The Tech, a non-profit organization, engages people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing the technologies affecting their lives and aims to inspire the innovator in everyone.  For more information, visit www.thetech.org or call (408) 294-TECH.

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Media contacts:
Matt Meigs, the League of Women Voters of California, 800-200-7904, matt@mmcpr.com
Gary Summers, The Tech Museum of Innovation, 925-284-7004; gary@prwebsite.com.
Ryan Donovan, Ketchum Public Relations, 415-984-6138; ryan.donovan@ketchum.com.

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