What if you could see real-time data of voter turnout on an interactive map of your community? Well, tomorrow, the geosocial website Foursquare will make that wish a reality.
Foursquare's "I Voted Project
" will feature a map of every polling place in America
synced with real-time data about the volume and gender of voters who have "checked-in" at various locations. For those of you unfamiliar with Foursquare, it's a social network that allows users to pin updates to specific locations -- bars, restaurants, and now polling places -- by checking in.
This is a big development in political campaigns, in which the two most important concerns have always been getting out the vote and building a community. Allowing users to declare #ivoted via Foursquare and Twitter is the digital version of sporting the classic emblem of civic participation -- the "I Voted" sticker.
This project was the product of some of the sharpest minds in political activism, including Foursquare's Eric Friedman, Direct Media Strategies' Jordan Raynor, Engage's Mindy Finn and Patrick Ruffini, and JESS3's Leslie Bradshaw. Mindy and Patrick were already busy working with Google and Pew on the Voter Information Project to compile and map every polling place in the nation, and JESS3 developed the platform. I was privileged to be along for the ride and to offer input on the fusion of politics and geography. Jordan has a good full recap
of how the idea came to fruition and who was involved.
Of course, the "I Voted" map
will only be as good as the volume of people who use it, so whether you're a Democrat, Republican, Independent, member of the media, techie, political junkie, or just an everyday citizen, be sure to check out the map tomorrow and shout to the nation that you voted.
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has been writing The Electoral Map
blog since 2007. A former staff writer for National Journal Group and project manager at New Media Strategies, he now attends Georgetown's McDonough School of Business.