Five Ways Technology is Making Democracy Easier
Session Type(s): Panel
Training Tag(s): Elections, Technology / Data / Innovation
Starts: Thursday, Jun. 7 4:30 PM
Ends: Thursday, Jun. 7 5:45 PM
Much of progressive organizing relies on registering and turning out underrepresented communities and mobilizing those communities against the conservative agenda. New technology aims to eliminate barriers to democratic participation by making it easier for voters to register to vote, find their polling place, obtain an absentee ballot, research candidates, connect with each other and advocate for positions to their elected officials. This panel of leading technologists will speak about the ways technology is making it easier to participate in the democratic process.
Anthea is passionate about real-time data, political organizing and social software. She currently works with the Obama 2012 technology team as the Director of Voter Experience.
Before joining the campaign, she worked at the New Organizing Institute where she managed the Voting Information Project — an effort to collect, standardize and distribute, through an open API, a nationwide database of polling locations and election information. The API received 5 million hits in 2010 and was used by Google, AT&T, Microsoft, Foursquare and Politics-360.
Before getting sucked into political technology, Anthea worked as a lawyer in the House of Representatives and for several years in the field on political and issue campaigns.
When she’s not causing the establishment problems, Anthea likes to swim, wear vintage sunglasses and coax her many houseplants into not dying.
Tiana Epps-Johnson is the Election Administration Director at the New Organizing Institute. She manages the Voting Information Project where she works with state and local election officials to publish official voting information in a standardized format. Tiana also works on the Ballot Information Project, an effort to collaborate across the civic engagement space to create an online, open source, and comprehensive dataset of ballot information tied to political geography. Both projects aim to create the infrastructure needed to build innovative tools that lower the barriers to access of critical voting information. In her free time, she enjoys cooking (usually in accordance with a predetermined theme).
Tiana holds an MSc in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics and a BA in Political Science from Stanford University.
Seth founded TurboVote while receiving a Master’s in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He previously worked as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations (where he founded CFR’s annual capture the flag game), a program administrator at the Institute for International Education, and a berktern at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. While earning a BA in economics at Columbia University, Seth served as student body president, leading the council in successfully lobbying Columbia to reform its financial aid policies. In 2011, Seth was honored as one of Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” in the field of law and policy.
Marci Harris began public service work as Tornado Recovery Coordinator for Jackson, Tenn., working with private and public organizations and state, local and federal agencies to rebuild. In 2007, she became Tax, Trade, and Health Counsel to Pete Stark, then-Chairman of the Health Subcommittee of Ways and Means. She left Capitol Hill in 2010 to found POPVOX — an award-winning nonpartisan platform for effective online civic participation. Marci holds a J.D. from the University of Memphis and an LL.M from American University’s Washington College of Law.
Eric is the Politics & Elections Program Manager at Google, where he works to improve access to civic information and build political features into Google’s products. He manages products including google.com/elections, the Google Election Center API, and Google’s election results maps. Eric’s team also works to bring these concepts and tools to international elections, most recently leading successful programs in Egypt, France and Senegal. Prior to Google, Eric built online youth engagement platforms at the Harvard Institute of Politics. Eric holds a BA in Computer Science from Harvard College.