Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

National Voter Registration Day Gearing Up, Online and Offline

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, September 24 2012

Over 1,000 organizations have come together to set up an unprecedented online and offline effort on September 25th to do for voter registration what Earth Day did for environmental activism with National Voter Registration Day.

The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund, Bus Federation Civic Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, League of Women Voters, Nonprofit Vote, and Voto Latino worked together to coordinate events, social media outreach and raise awareness about voter registration on that date. Personal Democracy Media is also participating through a partnership with Fight For the Future, which has launched an Internet Votes effort.

"The idea idea is to establish a holiday for people to participate in the democratic process," said Dan McSwain, vice president of digital campaigns for Voto Latino, invoking the Earth Day example. "This is the first time that anything like this has happened on this scale." With some sort of election race happening every year, the hope is that the date becomes an opportunity "to remember every year that registering to vote is essential."

The date at the end of September was selected because it is before state deadlines begin in October. The goal is that participating organizations follow up with people who begin the registration process during the October deadlines to encourage them to complete their registrations. "In 2008, at least six million people didn't register to vote because they didn't realize that their state's deadline had passed," McSwain said.

On-the-ground events are planned in almost all fifty states with participants ranging from advocacy groups to Patagonia, an outdoor camping retailer. In addition to being listed on the website, organizers have also partnered with Tumblr to list events through the social network's Meetups platform.

All participants are being encouraged to promote the effort widely on social media channels and the hashtag #925NVRD.

On the morning of the 25th, a Google Hangout is planned featuring Gabe Saporta, the lead singer of the band Cobra Starship. A Twitter chat featuring Craig Newmark, Rosario Dawson, Good Magazine, the League of Women Voters and the Fem2.0 blogging network is also scheduled.

Mashable reported earlier that Headcount.org, a New York voter-registration organization, was working with over 100 celebrities to promote voter registration messages over social media channels. On its Facebook page, Headcount is already featuring photos of celebrities like Stephen Colbert, 50 Cent and Dave Matthews holding a voter registration clipboard.

High profile supporters like actress Rosario Dawson are also expected to make TV appearances, while organizers are also hoping for exposure in local media outlets.

Turbovote is also officially providing its voter registration service to the effort, McSwain said, and has integrated with those states, like California, that are offering online voter registration.

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen tweeted last week that 19,222 people used California's online voter registration application system in its first two days of operation.

The National Association of Secretaries of State voted in the summer to officially declare September 25 National Voter Registration Day.

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

GO

tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

GO

monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

GO

The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

GO

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

GO

wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

GO

More