Since 2000 with the infamous hanging chads and Palm Beach liberals who “voted” for Pat Buchanan, presidential elections have become something of a circus sideshow in themselves. Both Republicans and Democrats fiercely fight over every vote (as they should) and the media loves to chum the waters with tales of voting irregularities.
Thankfully, web2.0 has given us a couple of tools to sort through the impending (and already present thanks to numerous states like my own NC doing the early voting thing… which is terrific, btw) carnival.
Time’s political Swampland blog has more on how voters can “Tweet the Vote” by following special accounts that voting activists groups have set up as well as Time’s own Twitter account:
Swampland – TIME.com » Blog Archive Tweet the Vote! «: “Stepping up to the plate this year to make reporting concerns as easy and as public as possible are two organizations: the grass roots group Twitter Vote Report and the more corporate-y (they have consultants!) Election Protection, who is also partnered with a ton of other organizations, including NBC.
Both groups are encouraging voters to use Twitter as a kind of panopticon of the polling process. I assume you’re following all the right people already, but interested parties should also follow 866ourvote to for real-time poll watching. After the jump, a memo from the group, noting the specific conventions for how to report your own observations and how it works.”
There’s even an iPhone/iPod Touch app (pictured above… search for “votereport” in the App Store on iTunes).
This is really exciting stuff. I’ve been a political junkie since the Dukakis/Bush ’88 race (I was a dorky 6th grader, ok?) and could only dream of being able to really take part in the political process with tools such as an iPhone or Twitter.
Whatever your persuasion, it doesn’t take much to realize that web2.0 is good at breaking down boundaries and providing both a voice to people and a check on the political corruptions of the past.