Techonomy 13 Elections Techonomy Tucson

Towards 2016: The Future of American Elections

Democracy requires participation. Only 55 percent of registered voters vote in major U.S. elections. Voting laws are meanwhile getting even more restrictive and locally unique, thanks in part to recent Supreme Court revisions to the Voting Rights Act. Can technology help fix America's broken voting system? Will we eventually vote by phone or internet? How will 2016 be different from 2012? Jocelyn Benson of Wayne State University, Judd Choate of the Colorado Department of State, Scott Duncombe of ShareProgress, Google's Eric Hysen, Tammy Patrick of Arizona's Maricopa County, Katherine Grainer of Civitas, and civic researcher Kate Krontiris discuss at Techonomy 2013 in Tucson, Ariz. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Techonomy 13 Elections Techonomy Tucson Video

180° Shift: Betting Big on Civic Innovation

Civic Researcher and Strategist Kate Krontiris discusses the current and future relationship of technology and the elections process. Watch the video and read the full transcript here.   More

Elections Government Techonomy Tucson

U.S. Elections Face a Crossroads on Rights and Technology

Most of the American electoral system functions as it has for hundreds of years, relying on manual processing of paper records.

Most Americans believe that voting is their right, like freedom of speech or freedom of religion. But the right to vote doesn’t appear anywhere in the Constitution. Americans have historically faced legal obstacles to voting based on race, property ownership, gender, or age, while others were limited based on procedural confines such as poll taxes and literacy tests. Regardless of when or how certain groups have won enfranchisement, election administrators, voters, and advocates need to consider how technology can be an empowering force to ensure eligible voters have easy access to the process.   More

Techonomy 12 Elections Techonomy Tucson Video

180° Shift: The Role of Tech in a Shifting Electoral Map

Dan Bartlett, President and CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, speaks at Techonomy 2012 in Tucson, Ariz.   More

Elections Government

What Social Media Told Us on Election Day


Tuesday was not only a big win for the Democratic party but also for social media. From campaign organization to mobilization of people to polling stations, Twitter and Facebook drew massive amounts of participation around yesterday's election. Facebook recorded over 9.6 million users who specified that they voted on election day. Of these users, 65% were female voters, and 31% were between the ages of 25 and 34. Meanwhile Twitter witnessed the highest spreading piece of content to ever be recorded on the network. A Tweet that included a photo of the Obama's hugging became the most viral Tweet we've ever seen, gaining over 300,000 retweets within an hour, surpassing @longcat111's long-lasting rule as the most RT'd tweet by a longshot.   More

Elections Government Life Science

Where Obama and Romney Stand on Life Sciences

Salisbury_Life Science Election

We have heard debates, convention speeches, and campaign events with lots of talk about jobs and foreign oil and national security. But what about where the candidates stand on another matter critical to innovation in our country and the future of healthcare: life sciences?   More

Business Elections Government

Do Corporations Stoke Innovation or Smother It?

This election season has predictably amplified the argument that taxation and regulation suffocate growth and innovation. But Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston argues an opposing theory: that "corporate socialism" stifles innovation, and that the subversion of competitive markets is responsible for depressed domestic wages. As Exhibit A, he asserts that near-monopolies in the cable, Internet, and phone markets mean that in many areas of the U.S. connectivity speeds are both slow and expensive by world standards.   More

Elections Government Manufacturing

How Obama and Romney Should Have Answered the Manufacturing Question

Near the end of last night’s presidential debate, moderator Candy Crowley asked President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney a common question: How do you convince companies like Apple to bring manufacturing back to America? Unfortunately, both candidates flubbed their answers, AllThingsD’s Arik Hesseldahl argues. Romney simply talked about Chinese currency manipulation and intellectual property […]   More

Digital Elections

Dick Costolo on How Twitter Redefines the Role of News Media

In an interview with WNYC's Jeremy Hobson, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo elaborates on the heightened role that Twitter now plays in society—particularly relevant given the explosion of tweets surrounding the presidential and vice-presidential debates. "We used to have a filtered, one-way view of events in the world from the media," says Costolo. "America's perspective of it, or the world's perspective of that event, would be seen through the lens of the way that the media described it to them."   More

Business Digital Elections

Campaigns Use Social Media to Lure Younger Voters

This presidential campaign has taken social media to a new level, expanding beyond Facebook and Twitter and into the world of Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, and Spotify. Both camps are reaching out to young voters by employing online tactics, from GIFs to pics. But is Ann Romney’s patriotic cake recipe on Pinterest or the Obama-Biden Spotify playlist enough to woo important swing votes? Both campaigns seem to believe that the more online action, the better.   More

Digital Elections

Nate Silver Leads a New Era of Techonomic Poll Tracking

The 2012 Techonomy conference will be held Nov. 11-12, so the results of the presidential election are certain to loom large. One aspect of electoral politics that's been transformed by the influence of tech and the Internet is polling—and its amplified impact on the national discourse.   More

Elections Government Security & Privacy

Obama Campaign Uses Big Data to Target Voters Block by Block

As reported by Richard McGregor in the Financial Times, one voter whose name, age, and address were published in the "Obama for America" app, which helps canvassers target doors to knock on, was decidedly nonplussed about having his personal information downloadable by anyone with a smartphone. "Everything is an invasion of privacy these days," he said. "If I got excited about it, I would have had a coronary by now." Others are less sanguine about the ways the Obama campaign is using technology, and data culled from social media, to micro-target voters. But both campaigns have tools that tell them a lot more about voters than their ages and addresses, and they're using them to "slice and dice" the voting population in a way Barack Obama could have never envisioned when he gave his seminal 2004 convention speech.   More