NEWS RELEASE: e.thePeople, Coalition Win Knight News Challenge, $200,000

July 22, 2015

(BROOKLYN, N.Y.) -- e.thePeople was awarded $200,000 as a winner of the Knight Challenge on Elections for a project that will spur informed voter participation. The winning project, “Informed Voting from Start to Finish,” is a collaboration between Democracy Works, e.thePeople, and the Center for Civic Design.  An initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight News Challenge on Elections sought ideas to better inform voters and increase civic participation before, during, and after elections.

The initiative will link TurboVote, an online service developed by Democracy Works that provides registration help and reminders of when and where to vote, to hundreds of local online voter guides provided by e.thePeople in partnership with news and civic groups across the country. The Center for Civic Design will help the team refine information provided to voters and lead research to better understand how voters get and use election information.

“At Democracy Works, removing barriers to voting is our central goal,” said Seth Flaxman, Democracy Works’s Co-Founder and Executive Director. “Working with these two great organizations, we can create a fuller voter experience that will help prepare people and bring as many voters to the polls as possible.”

“E.thePeople wants to make it easier for everyone to be an informed and engaged voter,” said Executive Director Alex Quinn.  “By combining Democracy Works’s innovative voting reminder service with access to informative voter guides, we can equip voters with everything they need to fully participate in the election process.”

“In our research, we’ve seen how hard it is for people to find all the information they need to feel confident voting,” said Whitney Quesenbery, Center for Civic Design Co-Director. “Combining reminders from TurboVote with e.thePeople’s easy-to-use voter guides can make a real difference.”

“Ensuring people have access to relevant information and making the voting process more transparent will encourage more people to come out to the polls and take action on issues that affect their lives,” said John Bracken, Knight Foundation vice president for media innovation.

Combining the knowledge and efforts of these 3 groups amounts to something of a powerhouse — all 3 have extensive experience in voter engagement. 

  • 80% of those who re-registered using the Democracy Works tool TurboVote successfully cast ballots in 2012, while nationwide turnout dropped to 57%. 75% of voters that TurboVote helped to register for the first time also cast ballots. 
  • E.thePeople has developed voter guide software to provide personalized voter information, which has been used by 13 million visitors. 
  • The Center for Civic Design has developed design guidelines for voter information (including the Field Guides to Ensuring Voter Intent and Best Practices for Official Voter Information Guides in California), and has a strong methodology for evaluating effective voter information design.

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. More at www.newschallenge.org/

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