2018/11/29: we mapped a digital campaigning industry whose breadth and depth far surpassed our expectations. This overview is the start of the a series in which we unpack our findings.
There are two features of these organisations that are important to their impact on democratic processes. Firstly, most of them are for-profit companies, with the primary aim of generating, maintaining and growing revenue, a business model that inevitably guides their decisions rather than traditional political metrics such as voter participation. Secondly, the organisations are, for the most part, hired for their expertise in data technologies rather than their knowledge or engagement in politics. Political campaigning is now often largely mediated by data-driven technology organisations.
2018/09/26: fellows have been charged with waging what the group calls a “massive youth intervention in the 2018 midterm elections.”
Sunrise isn’t the only youth-led group pushing for a green wave this election season.
she was determined to get voters thinking about the impact they can have on the planet where we all live.
“Their individual decisions as voters affect the rest of the world,” Chua said. “I’m part of the rest of the world.”
2018/09/16: our public school systems are barely providing basic literacy: about 1 in 7 American adults would struggle to read a children’s book. In higher ed, students last year graduated with an average of $39,400 in debt. The top 1 percent of American households today controls more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. Our justice system puts African Americans in prison at five times the rate of whites.
And voting suppression and intimidation is everywhere — purges to voting rolls in Indiana, Texas repeatedly found guilty of discriminatory practices, gerrymandering everywhere turning Democratic votes meaningless. And Republicans are trying to pass a constitutional amendment that would require voters show a state-issued photo ID at the polls, which research, as well as common sense, tells us suppresses minority votes.
Do you ever stop and marvel how everything seems to be in crisis all at once? Or, as an African-American friend said to me recently, now everyone in America has a glimpse of what it’s like to be black.
It’s not a coincidence, of course. In the system of democratic society, all the parts are totally interdependent.
Free and fair elections require an informed, active body of citizens debating the electoral issues of the day and scrutinising the positions of candidates. Participation at each and every stage of an electoral campaign - not just on the day of the vote - is necessary for a healthy democracy.rnrnThose online have access to an increasingly sophisticated set of tools to do just this: to learn about candidates, to participate in political discussions, to shape debate and raise issues that matter to them. Or even, run for office themselves.rnrnWhat does this mean for those citizens who don't have access to the internet? Do online debates capture their needs, concerns and interests? Are the priorities of those not connected represented on the political stage?rnThe Mexican election: a story of digital inequalityrnrnMar195173a de Jes195186s "Marichuy" Patricio Martinez was selected as an independent candidate in Mexico's recent July 1 elections general election - the first indigenous woman to run for president. But digital barriers doomed her candidacy.rnrnIndependent presidential candidates in Mexico are required to collect 866,000 signatures using a mandatory mobile app that only runs on relatively new smartphones. This means that to collect the required endorsements, a candidate and their supporters all need a modern smartphone - which typically costs around three times the minimum monthly salary - plus electricity and mobile data. These are resources many people in indigenous communities simply don't have. While the electoral authorities exempted some municipalities from this process, it did not cover the mostly poor and indigenous areas that Marichuy wanted to represent. She was unable to gather the signatures needed.rnOffline and disconnectedrnrnIn Mexico, as in many countries, increased internet use has led to a growing number of political and electoral activities taking place online - a shift that offers new opportunities for broadening involvement and activating the electorate. In the country's July elections, the National Electoral Authority (INE) used its website, videos and social networks to encourage people to vote and to inform citizens about key electoral issues.rnrnBut just as Marichuy discovered, digital technology can only expand opportunities so far as people are connected and have the resources they need to engage. With only 64% of Mexico's population online, over a third of the country is shut out of the increasingly influential digital square. And those without internet access are disproportionately poor, female, indigenous and living in rural areas - people whose interests the institutions of government systematically fail to address, and who candidates should be paying particular attention to.rnrnMexico's digital divide is stark, with some entire communities without access. There are people living in indigenous communities who, to get online, must travel up to 40 kilometers to reach an area with connectivity. This is a huge burden that only a minority of people in these communities can afford according to research from the Heinrich Boll Foundation.rnrnIn a country as large and centralised as Mexico, ensuring broad based participation is critical. But as political parties shift from traditional campaigning to a digital-led model they are increasingly shifting their attention towards those citizens that are online, leaving those offline with fewer opportunities to inform themselves about candidates, their positions, and the issues on the table. These voices are being lost.
VVPAT: A GOOD IDEA THAT FAILED What is a VVPAT? Paper trails, also known as Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails or VVPAT, are printed by a DRE after each voter indicates his or her votes, but before the votes are cast. The voter has a chance to verify the paper printout, and cast the ballot if the VVPAT is correct or cancel the ballot if the VVPA doesn't repeat the voter's choices correctly.
People supporting Hillary Clinton often compare the "Bernie or Bust" movement to Ralph Nader's third party campaign in the 2000 election, angrily accusing Sanders supporters in advance of handing the election to the Republican Party's worst candidate ever. But a progressive challenge to the Democratic Party's weak nominee is not the aspect of the 2000 election that ought to be remembered in 2016. - By Hank Edson
The company's dominance means it can easily manipulate voter behavior. Though it claims it won't, just the possibility is a threat to democracy
Blockchain-based voting machines could be more secure and transparent than current systems.
The first year that I was legally old enough to vote was 2000, the infamous first election of George W. Bush. At the very adult age of 18, I registered a...
Recent studies show how the building where you vote - whether it's a church or a school - can subconsciously influence which boxes you check on the ballot
In 2008, Barack Obama redrafted the electioneering script, becoming the first presidential candidate to use social media as a political channel. His opponents' failure to grasp the significance of social media proved as catastrophic as Richard Nixon's dismissive attitude to television in 1960 -- an
A campaign boiler room is the best place to see the ugly underbelly of our election system. As a senior legal adviser to the Obama campaign, I spent November 6 in the Chicago boiler room, where roughly a hundred people...
It's clearly possible, in the sense that it's not an insurmountable technical challenge.
There's a must-read article if you want to understand why Democrats are losing the support of low income people who benefit from government programs like...
Young people could change the outcome in anywhere between 11 and 41 constituencies.
Research suggests young people are engaged in politics, they just don't like the politicians.
Brent Turner of the California Association of Voting Officials (CAVO) talks with us about the unfortunate trend for vendors to "openwash" their offerings; that is, to misrepresent proprietary products as if they were open source, with the intent of making them more appealing.
The case for lowering the voting age to 16 in the UK would appear to have been strengthened by the resonance of young people in the Scottish referendum. But excitement over this issue masks a deeper problem
Last week's election raised a lot of questions, including "should Nick Clegg resign?", "should people calling for Nick Clegg to resign shut up?" and "why didn't you vote for me? Is it because I smell?" (that last one mostly being asked by me, to be fair). But one topic I've seen coming up over and
Please enable cookies on your web browser in order to continue.