Why Hasn't the Internet Made Voting Awesome?
In the United States, only 50% of people vote in presidential elections. That drops to 40% for midterm elections, and 10% for primary, local and special elections. Worldwide, we rank 138th in voter turnout. The Internet has made it easy to find your old friends from college; download any song you want; get shoes delivered the very next day, and help create social change by signing petitions, making donations and lobbying congress.So why hasn't the Internet made voting awesome? Seth Flaxman and Paul Schreiber of Democracy Works will talk about why the voting system is so broken, and how the Internet can route around inefficiency and bureaucracy to increase voter turnout and make voting fit the way we live today.
Paul Schreiber spent a decade as a software engineer, including eight years on Apple’s Mac OS X team. In 2008, he volunteered for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. In addition to knocking on doors and making phone calls, Schreiber co-developed Vote For Change, registering over 500,000 voters and helping a million people find their voting location. He can often be found at your local hockey rink, on his bicycle or behind the lens of his Nikon D70s. Before building TurboVote, he cofounded a nonprofit student news organization, a music classifieds web site and a health care video storytelling project.
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.