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[liberationtech] "Extra-government voting" research project?

Tanja Aitamurto tanja.aitamurto at
Sat Sep 15 23:38:15 PDT 2012

Thanks, Neema, for reaching out, and great to hear about your awesome work!

The activity you are describing could fall under the phenomenon of
crowdsourcing for democracy, which is a fascinating, emerging field of
inquiry in political and social sciences (and a part of my research
agenda!), and could be realized for instance by using crowdsourcing
platforms, such as IdeaScale or similar ones, which allow clear voting and
commenting functions.

Citizens' alternative (not always alternative though!) agenda for
democratic processes has been practiced e.g. in Iceland in constitution
reform process:, and similar attempts in Egypt,
Morocco, etc.

Let me know if you want to discuss more, and hope to see you when you are
back on campus!

Tanja Aitamurto
Visiting Researcher
Program on Liberation Technology
Stanford University

On Sun, Sep 16, 2012 at 9:18 AM, Neema Moraveji <neema at> wrote:

> Researchers, hackers, and students:
> There is a need in many countries, to support "extra-government
> elections" with web-based technology (i.e., let citizens vote fairly
> without government influence, extortion, etc.).  I think this is a
> valuable investment of time for a Libtech/HCI/CS/ICTD research
> project.
> Imagine a site that allowed citizens to vote, could show the outside
> world and governments themselves (which often have unreliable means of
> voting/counting/etc.) how the citizens really feel about different
> candidates - in a non-biased way.
> The research issues to solve: authentication, visualization,
> accountability, and perhaps even access.  Using common computer
> components (keyboard, webcam, etc.) can such a system be delivered to
> at least approximate the real sentiment of the people? At least to the
> outside world?
> Does such a system already exist?
> I am in Iran right now connecting with young people and intellectuals.
> I can't speak for other countries but Iran will have important
> elections in 9 months.  If even a prototype of such a system exists,
> it could gain wide use here and be used by news agencies around the
> world to broadcast the difference between govt and extra-govt voting
> results.
> All the best,
> Neema Moraveji, Ph.D.
> Director
> Calming Technology Lab
> Media-X
> Stanford University
> @moraveji, @calmingtech
> --
> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password at:


Studying the Open X at Stanford: crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, open
innovation, open data.
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