Voting Socially: New TheBallot.Org Empowers Young Voters
Innovative Tool Creates a "Yelp for Democracy"
NEW YORK, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In what could be the closest national election since 2000, TheBallot.Org has been introduced to empower voters and avoid election day problems. The site, created by the League of Young Voters and The Bus Federation, allows users to find, create and distribute voter information socially. The mobile version, released Wednesday, was optimized so that young voters could take their ballot selections into the polls on their smartphones. The site is built with the largest national data set ever collected, with information being added daily on races down to the county level in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
"TheBallot.org--the first social voting tool--has more data and users than ever before. By allowing users to find and share information, it empowers voters," said Scott Duncombe, Technology Director at The Bus Federation. "Find out who's running in your district, city, and state, who your neighbors and friends are supporting, and why. It's an open, unbiased, and social tool so everyone can learn and vote smarter."
In an era where the Internet has revolutionized restaurant recommendations, movie reviews and nearly everything else, too many voter engagement resources have remained either offline or only allow one-way communication. TheBallot.org helps voters to find basic information about their ballots and polling place--but also allows users to create voter guides and share their endorsements on social networks. Users can comment on ballot measures and share their votes on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+ via the Badge Your Vote tool.
"The concept is to take voting and democracy--things that are inherently social and collaborative--and create a resource that allows voters to have a real conversation with their networks," said Rob "Biko" Baker, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters.
An earlier iteration of the site was used by 100,000+ people in 2010--organizers expect to more than double those numbers this year. TheBallot.org has been recognized by Google, Twitter, Tumblr, and Salsa Labs as a game-changing tool for 2012.
"This is where young people are at now. We use these types of tools to pick a place to eat--of course we'll use it to help pick our leaders," said Matt Singer, Executive Director of The Bus Federation. "On TheBallot.org, real people will rule the day, not rich donors or the powerful interests they control."
League of Young Voters is the only national field organization in the youth sector focused on organizing non-college youth, specifically low-income communities and communities of color. Through a network of permanent field offices, it empowers young people nationwide to participate in the democratic process and create progressive political change on the local, state and national level. The League meets young people where they are, works on issues that affect their lives, and provides them with tools, training and support to become serious catalysts for change.
The Bus Federation is an innovative network of homegrown organizations like the Washington Bus, New Era Colorado, Forward Montana, and The Bus Project (of Oregon). They drive votes, leaders and change (and yes, they have buses). They work intensely in their own states focusing on people-powered politics—not left, not right, but forward.
SOURCE The Bus Federation
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