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[liberationtech] Free Elections Hackathon

Steven Clift clift at
Mon May 14 07:48:42 PDT 2012

Dan, sounds like a great event. Reposted here:

Back in 2007 I spent a few months pondering what we might "require"
with the Internet in the future to call an election free and fair for

It is one thing for the Internet to be used as an option, it is
another thing to say X or Y was NOT online and therefore it was not a
free election.

See:  (note the PDF link toward the top)

To me, the key thing that we need is an open source "who is on
myballot" distributed voter guide platform. The key is to do two
things - one get the data on who/what is on the ballot out for wide
use and second create a syndicated information system for candidates,
parties, the media, and even voters to add stuff. The most crucial and
simple thing is getting candidate e-contact information and links into
the public domain as early as possible and not the week before the
election. Adding a creative commons reuse on voter guide information
would be the next layer.

The second thing IMHO is creating the unique identifier for each
race/year and for each unique combination of ballots so VOTERS with
the same options can have a far better chance of getting connected
_locally_ on up. This would be sort of like imagining an open Twitter
hashtag for each contest on the ballot and for each voting precinct
where people might want to come to together to trade notes on voting
choices. Candidate/parties will not compete online if there is not a
space for open communication accessible and relevant to real voter.

Steven Clift

(P.S. I created the world's first election information website back in
1994, so I've had plenty of time to think of all the cool things I
would have done if I had had the technology and other resources.
Sustaining/building this stuff has a time and place ... so perhaps you
are starting something at the right time, at the right place.

Steven Clift -
  Executive Director -
  Tel/Text: +1.612.234.7072

Steven Clift -
  Executive Director -
  Tel/Text: +1.612.234.7072

On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 9:23 AM, Yosem Companys <companys at> wrote:
> From: Dan Stanley <dan at>
> Hi all
> Just wanted to let you know about an event taking place in London next
> month.
> It's called the Free Elections Hackathon, and as the name suggests, its
> bringing together all the latest developments in how technology can
> contribute to free and fair elections around the world.
> At the moment we have two major projects:
> Improvements and upgrades to OneWorld's amazing real-time election
> monitoring system, which they ran successfully in the recent Senegal
> Presidential elections. If you've not seen this system before, you should
> definitely check out the website here:, and
> watch this video:
> Investigating how technologies such as mobile & cellular communication,
> crowd-sourced mapping, remote data plotting and covert data transfer can
> contribute to monitoring of the electoral process in countries where
> domestic and international observation is restricted. We'll be looking
> particularly at how to address the key issue of corroboration/verification,
> and running at least a couple of country specific workshops looking at
> practicalities - Zimbabwe and Iran look likely topics for those at present.
> Its taking place on Saturday 16th June, at the Centre for Creative
> Collaboration near King's Cross Station. The tickets are going to be
> released in about a week, but in the mean time I thought I'd let people on
> this list know about it, to see if anyone would like to be involved in the
> event, or had some suggestions about other groups or individuals who might
> want to be.
> Any ideas, questions, requests, email me at dan at
> Thanks
> Dan
> Small Axe
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