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The Great Voter Tune-Out of 2012

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, June 21 2012

Youth voter turnout, 2012 vs 2008 primaries (courtesy Jason Rzepka)

Micah Sifry writes: It's the "'meh'-ing" of the president, says Roger Simon. "The 2012 campaign is the smallest ever," says another headline in Politico. All over the political landscape, signs abound of a dismal political season.

Now the Pew Research Center For the People & The Press is out with a meaty new survey that confirms that voter engagement with the 2012 election is down compared to the campaign of 2008. Last time around, at this point in the race, 63% of registered voters polled said they were "more interested" in the election than previously; that's now dropped to just 48% saying they're more interested than four years ago. That is, one is six registered voters have tuned DOWN their interest in the presidential battle compared to four years ago. Read More

Poetry of the Email Subject Line: Anticipation

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, June 15 2012

The steganographic gods are at it again. Read More

Report: Federal Authorities Investigating Break-In Into Mitt Romney's Email Account

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, June 5 2012

Federal authorities were notified Tuesday night about an apparent hack into Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's private email account, according to Gawker, which had been tipped off about the incident. Read More

Democrats Create "Unlikeable" Romney Facebook Timeline for Video

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 30 2012

The Democratic National Committee has released a video that constructs its own version of Mitt Romney's Facebook timeline. Using the motto "Little to Like," it's a "celebration" of Romney officially winning enough delegates for his nomination. Read More

Poetry of the Email Subject Line

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, May 23 2012

Micah Sifry discovers the unintentional poetry of email subject lines from Barack Obama's and Mitt Romney's presidential campaigns. Read More

In Pivot to General, Romney Campaign Seeking to Build Out Digital Staff

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, May 10 2012

Mitt Romney. Photo: Austen Hufford

For Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:The Romney campaign is advertising technology-related jobs on Mashable. (via @adamostrow)

Romney digital director Zac Moffatt says a robust internal tech staff is the new normal for presidential campaigns, but those positions weren't a priority during primary season.

"This is what people are doing online in 2012," he told techPresident Thursday morning. "This is the team that we need to build to be successful."

Read More

The Hounding of Mitt Romney Continues on Facebook

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 2 2012

Mitt Romney's campaign advisers must be howling.

Ever since the story of Mitt Romney's trip to Canada with family dog Seamus strapped to the roof of his car, dog enthusiasts won't leave him alone about it — most recently "bombing" a Facebook request for questions about the presidential campaign posed by ABC's Sunday news program This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Arthur Delaney from the Huffington Post noted this little tidbit.

Facebook users are peppering the page with variations on a theme: "How did Seamus get home from Canada? Or did he?"

Read More

With Romney as Nominee, RNC Ramps Up Digital Operation

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, April 25 2012

The Republican party apparatus is now mobilizing for Mitt Romney. Photo: Austen Hufford

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The Republican Party will send digital directors to 13 states and launch a new Facebook application as part of a much-enhanced digital operation, officials told techPresident today. Leaning on a mix of in-house and outside talent, party officials say they've developed an infrastructure that includes a revamped approach to voter data, a mobile get-out-the-vote application and a campaign dashboard for promoting events and raising funds. As Romney has been focused on incremental primary wins in each state, the Republican National Committee, it seems — like President Barack Obama's campaign — has been taking advantage of its time to prepare. Read More

The Obama Campaign Online, Easter Edition

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, April 6 2012

President Obama took off the gloves this week and started to attack Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney by name in speeches throughout the week. That freshly confrontational stance manifested itself in the ... Read More

Romney's Effort To Connect With Wisconsin Voters Meets With Derision From Democrats On Twitter

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 29 2012

Mitt Romney’s latest effort to make a joke at his own expense provided ample fodder on Wednesday for a Democratic snipefest on Twitter around the hashtag #RomneyAnecdotes. The former governor of Massachusetts on ... Read More

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NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

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NDI Launches Open Source DemTools for International Development

Yesterday the National Democratic Institute launched a suite of web-based applications created for their partner organizations, mostly pro-democracy groups and political parties around the world. These “DemTools,” which are ready-to-use but can also be customized, will give organizations in developing countries some of the capabilities that political activists and parties in the United States have had for years. Moreover, since the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is making the promise to host partner organization's applications in the cloud essentially forever, they hope these applications will help usher in a period of more sustainable tech.

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