As we unpack the results of the national election and shift our focus to upcoming New York elections, we're getting together to discuss the availability of election information via non-partisan digital platforms, and its effect on voter turnout.
In so many ways, technology is changing our relationship to voting. Through a partnership with the NYU Wagner School’s Code for Change program, the Campaign Finance Board worked with a team to introduce Votescope, a mobile app that directed New Yorkers to their poll site and provided information about candidates.The Board of Elections released a pollsite finder app as well. The team behind Whosontheballot.org has also created a remarkable resource. Mobile Commons connected voters to their poll site location by text message. Common Cause helped build a mobile app that helped voter report problems at the polls.
But preliminary numbers show that in-person turnout in New York City was down significantly compared with 2008. Nearly 200,000 fewer New Yorkers stood in line to vote on Election Day–from 2.5 million in 2008 to 2.3 million earlier this month.
The 21st Century Democracy and Technology and Open NY Meetups join forces Dec 11 for a panel and roundtable discussion on digital tools and civic engagement.
Our presenters for the evening:
Valentina Camacho is a co-creator of Votescope. She is a designer and artist interested in solving city problems and what design can do to facilitate community building. Votescope.us is a web application for voters to find information about candidates during elections. It was built for the November election as part of the NYU Wagner Code for Change competition, and the team since continued to expand the project. By aggregating interesting information, and presenting it through a friendly interface, Votescope hopes to inspire political engagement. Beyond the campaign season, they are working to make it a tool for info on those elected to public service and the work they are doing.
Kathryn Peters is a co-founder and COO of TurboVote. Her belief in better democracy has taken her from campaign organizing in rural Missouri to a Master's in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of
Government to political rights monitoring in Afghanistan. Katy's previous experience includes the information management team for the United Nations Department of Safety and Security and the National Democratic Institute's Information and Communications Technology staff. In 2011, Katy was honored as one of Forbes magazine's "30 Under 30" in the field of law and policy.
Maria Rabinovich is a co-creator of Votescope. She is an artist, developer, and designer interested in communications projects, education, and civic engagement tools.
Chris Santulli is project manager of Who's on the Ballot, a quick and easy to use website and mobile app that provides New York City citizens the location of polling places, information on candidates, sample ballots, and voter registration information. The project is based on the simple fact that the more informed we are, the more likely we are to participate in elections. The mission is to provide voters with the tools they need to make an informed choice on Election Day. Who’s on the Ballot is a not-for profit project of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Rene Yap is a co-creator of Votescope. He is an entrepreneur/web developer looking to change the world by providing solutions through technology.