Conservatives Rally Around "Voter Fraud" App
BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, October 27 2010
Mobile election tracking has come a long way since the 'ol Twitter Vote Report days of '08. This morning saw the announcement of Foursquare's new non-partisan election hub; this afternoon brings us a brand-new Voter Fraud mobile app and web map from American Majority, a veteran of the anti-Obama health care plan battles that has now turned its attention to helping to "identify, report and track suspected incidents of voter fraud and intimidation" this election day. Worth noticing: how quickly the app seems to be traveling through a well-integrated conservative news and activism ecosystem.
As for the app itself, American Majority's new tool seeks to capture geo-tagged photos of "voter fraud" in action, and they're casting the net wide. Reportable offenses include people electioneering too close to the polls, voter intimidation, and extra long lines. From there, said Austin James, new media director at the Purcellville, Virginia-based American Majority and its sister 501(c)(4) American Majority Action (which is officially the group behind the app), the reports go up on VoterFraudApp.com and sent, under intern-power, to local election officials wherever possible. In spirit, American Majority's Voter Fraud flows out of civic collaboration movement that has sprung up in recent years. More concretely, it's built on the free CitySourced platform.
But the question, as it is anytime anyone builds a neat but unproven new tool, is will the Voter Fraud app actually make a splash? Get used? Well, it helps to have friends. Voter fraud is, of course, a hot topic these days in conservative circles, and it's becoming a display of message discipline that the mobile app helps to highlight. James reports that the organization is counting on both its email list and the support of high-profile figures on the right to get the app used out in the real-world on election day. "The Michelle Malkins, the Andrew Breitbarts, they can kind of push a button," James told me this afternoon, "and those talking heads are going to help push it along." Indeed, Malkin's home page is given over at the moment to a column called "The Left's Vote Fraud Whitewash" that calls the American Majority vote report app "a must-download." The app's front-paged at Breitbart's BigGovernment.com this afternoon, in a post that makes the predictable ACORN reference. And James reports that "of course, Fox News" has expressed an interest.
James reminds, though, that American Majority is non-partisan, and says that his greatest hope is that the mobile reporting of election trouble "isn't just a grassroots, conservative movement." The American Majority "Voter Fraud" mobile app is available in iPhone, Android, and Blackberry varieties.