Tag - twitter vote report

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Twitter Vote Report Goes to India
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Election Day Twitter Visualization
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Twitter Vote Report Wrap-Up
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Election Day Is Here – Let's Tweet!
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Twitter Vote Report in the News
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Twitter Vote Report in Action
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Twitter Vote Report is Live!
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Nice to Have the NY Times In Your Corner

Twitter Vote Report Goes to India

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The month long elections in India begin on April 16th, and Twitter Vote Report will be there for the ride! Here is the skinny on Vote Report India from Jon Pincus:

Vote Report India will partner with citizens’ networks, human rights organizations, and journalists to contribute direct SMS, email and web reports on violations of the Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct (PDF). It will then aggregate these direct reports with news reports, blog posts, photos, videos and tweets related to the elections from all relevant sources, in one place, on an interactive map. The interactive map will allow tracking the irregularities in the campaigns leading up to the elections, the voting experience on the day of the elections, and the results themselves.

At one level, Vote Report India will serve as a critical initiative aimed at nurturing transparency and accountability in the Indian election process. At another level, the platform will provide the most complete picture of public opinion in India during the elections.

“Vote Report India is powered by two path-breaking non-profit open-source projects — Ushahidi and SwiftRiver — and managed by eMoksha. Ushahidi is an award-winning platform that crowd-sources crisis information. SwiftRiver is a platform that makes sense of multiple sources of information in a fast-changing crisis situation. eMoksha is a non-profit organization that aims to enable stronger democracies through increased citizen awareness and engagement.”

The amazing life of Vote Report continues!

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Election Day Twitter Visualization

Dave Troy, the brains behind Twitter Vision and our lead techie on the Twitter Vote Report, rocks for many reasons, not the least of which is this visualization he concocted based on the tweets on Election Day.  It’s called Time View, but be forewarned, it’s mesmerizing and doesn’t stop!

Twitter Vote Report Time View

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Twitter Vote Report Wrap-Up

Wow, what a ride!  Dozens of volunteers contributing untold hours of their expertise and passion to bring an idea to life in less than a month.  We had nearly 300 news stories filed about the project the past week alone, many, many blog posts about it and thousands of tweeters using the system on Election Day.

The day wasn’t without its problems as the system went down for about a half an hour in the morning and the afternoon.  That was to be expected as we were building it at the same time we were rolling it out! The tech folks, particularly Deanna Zandt, Dave Troy and Andrew Turner were magnificent, calmer than I would have been and resilient throughout the day.

We’re still compiling the final statistics, so here are my impressions of the highlights of the day.

Just as importantly as serving as a vehicle for reporting problems, Twitter Vote Report was a wonderful way for citzens to celebrate voting.  There was a steady stream of tweets throughout the day of people celebrating their votes, like this one: “MeanRachel: #votereport #6th and Lamar – people laughing waiting for cross walk eating free ben and jerrys. Is this what hope looks like? Yes.”

Twitters informed one another:  “LisaS: line shorter now-stl 17th ward pct 5 voters, come on down! #votereport  less than a minute ago in Saint Louis, MO, USA  via Twitter 8:15 am”

And, of course, they reported problems, mainly long waits:  “geosteph: retweet neighbors who voted this morning said there was a long line at 6:10 AM …50 minutes before polls opened in MD #votereport”

Several messages were quite memorable both for the shocking disregard of voting rules, even common sense, by election officials, and the sincere desire of individual voters to try to make a difference by sending a message about it.

A St. Louis voter tweeted in the morning, during the course of what were five hour waits in some parts of St. Louis, this message, “In STL, poll workers shortstaffed, coming outside and asking random
people if anyone can help!  Poll workers require training. #votereport”  This bizarre request for untrained poll workers was included in an NPR roundup of Election Day troubles.

A woman sent in this audio file from her iphone (very cool!) reporting that she had been charged $20 to vote in Indiana.  I thought the poll tax was long gone, but apparently not.

It’s hard to express how appreciative I am of all of the people who invested themselves in this project; the tech folks, in particular, immersed themselves in building an extraordinary suite of tools that can be used for future campaigns and events, like natural disasters, when communications infrastructure between citizens becomes critically important.  We’re just at the beginning of what will be an ongoing, interesting evolution in the ways that mobile technology can be used to engage and connect citizens and I am very thankful that the Twitter Vote Report project could make an important contribution in that journey.

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Election Day Is Here – Let's Tweet!

What an amazing effort in the last few days from our volunteer programmers.  I can’t name them all, but you should take a peek at the list of contributors here on the Twitter Vote Report site. Already tweets are flying in this morning, here’s one from an early bird in Virginia:

#votereport #22033 currently 0520, polls open 0600, no more than 2 dozen people in front of us, more arriving as we wait. #good 18 minutes ago in Fairfax, VA 22033, USA via Twitter

Just yesterday we added an awesome list of longest wait times by zip code on the home page courtesy of Plodt.

State level maps, here is Missouri

The Google and Android apps are up and running

And Nathan Freitas yesterday grabbed the Twitter data stream and ran with it creating this a very cool way of displaying the data!

Already very long lines in Virginia this morning (but great weather expected in most of the country) sure hope folks brought folding chairs and are willing to wait hours because nothing is more important than voting today.

So, to my teammates, thanks for this great journey, and to the voters, thanks for your perseverance and resilience navigating a ridiculously difficult voting system — I’ll wait until later in the week to pontificate on how it needs to be fixed!

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Twitter Vote Report in the News

Twitter Vote Report has caught fire with the mainstream media and the blogosphere.  Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • An awesome video on Current TV:  http://current.com/contentItem.htm?masterId=85333400
  • Andy Carvin, one of our gang who has helped to design and implement this effort, was interviewed on Weekend Edition on NPR.
  • Noel Hidalgo created a terrific video that’s up on YouTube now:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUMXuTM_KLs
  • Watching Democracy at Work, One Vote at a Time, Richard Waters, Financial Times’ FT Tech Blog, November 1, 2008
  • Protecting Your Vote Using Net Technolgies, Craig Newmark, October 31, 2008

Nancy Scola is doing an amazing job of capturing all of this on the press page at www.twittervotereport.com.

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Twitter Vote Report in Action

“So, what’s all this about?”  Some folks have been asking me that question in the past few weeks when I’ve told them about Twitter Vote Report. As of yesterday when the site went up, I can point to it and see, this is what it’s all about:

  • “#votereport yesterday in #NC #28269 2.5 hr wait at library #early”
  • “#votereport #early #89501 Downtown Reno Libarary 1 minute wait time”
  • “#votereport #02128 #bad #reg I have not received my mail-in registration confirmation, and the MA phone number has been busy for a week!”
  • “#votereport #60657 the electronic voting machines were awesome. showed you a paper receipt before finally casting your ballot.”
  • “#votereport! I voted #early today in Arlington VA (#22201). Exp. was #good; #wait:30 min. I arrived at 8AM.”
  • “My #early #votereport – absentee ballots in #48823 require extra postage. Don’t let a $0.15 slipup keep your voice from being heard!”

My favorite is the postage situation in North Carolina. I’ve asked my friend Cheryl Graeve, head of field operations at the National League of Women Voters to check that one out!

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Twitter Vote Report is Live!

Three weeks to the day ago Nancy Scola and I hatched the idea of using Twitter to report on election day experiences.  This morning Twitter Vote Report went live!

A volunteer network of software developers, designers, and other collaborators teamed up and spent hundreds of volunteer hours, no money was spent on this effort at all, to create the non-partisan Twitter Vote Report.  Individual voters will use their cell phones to report on their individual experiences – the good, bad and ugly. How long is the wait in Cleveland, Ohio? Are the new optical scan machines staying up and running in Palm Beach County, Florida? Is failure to bring ID to the polls thwarting first-time voters in Indianapolis? With Twitter Vote Report, we’ll know the answers to those questions straight from voters from all over the country.

A large number of groups working on voter outreach and protection efforts have joined this effort.  They include: the 866-OUR-VOTE (The Election Protection Coalition), Rock the Vote, Credo Mobile, Common Cause, Plodt.com, YouTube, twittervision.com, NPR’s Social Media Desk, Independence Year Foundation, Center for Community Change, Student PIRGs, PBS, Women Donors Network, and Demos.

And now we need everyone’s help to get the word out — this effort will only work if lots of people are using the system.  So, here’s how it works:

If you currently use Twitter, send a message after you vote that begins with #votereport (this is critically important for ensuring that your message gets to the right place.)  Then write some or all of the following:

#[zip code] to indicate where you’re voting; ex., “#12345”
#machine for machine problems; ex., “#machine broken, using prov. ballot”
#reg for registration troubles; ex., “#reg I wasn’t on the rolls”
#wait:minutes for long lines; ex., “#wait:120 and I’m coming back later”
#good or #bad to give a quick sense of your overall experience
#EP+your state if you have a serious problem and need help from the Election Protection coalition; ex., #EPOH
If you don’t use Twitter and want to go to www.twitter.com, sign up then follow the directions above.

If you want to participate by cellphone but don’t want to use Twitter, you can:

Send a text message to 66937 that begins with “#votereport”
Key in a report by calling (567) 258-VOTE/8683
Download and use the iPhone app (coming soon)
Please participate — we need lots and lots of voices heard on Election Day!

That’s it — let’s go and “tweet” this election!

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Nice to Have the NY Times In Your Corner

The NY Times came to our rescue after Noah Shachtman impugned our good reputation at Twitter Vote Report by lumping our civil society use of Twitter on Election Day with the potential use of Twitter by terrorists.  The Times posted this update last night stating that the paragraphs that mentioned our efforts were expunged from the post.  Impugned and expunged in a matter of just a few hours!

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