I need your help getting the word out regarding the US presidential elections SEP 23 2004
Update: The Voters Information Guide is finished. Thanks for all the help.
Alright folks, we're going to do some of that collaborative citizen journalism you've heard so much about. I want to compile a short list of essential resources for people who need to register to vote, vote via absentee ballot, and, you know, vote normally. I've looked around at a few voter information sites and they are confusing, often too marketing-based, aren't focused on presenting information clearly, or are too partisan/biased. I'm looking for the opposite: information, links, and resources that are clear, concise, nonpartisan, and above all, practical. The information is out there...it just needs to be presented properly.
Here are some areas I'd like to focus on:
- Deadlines and procedures for registering to vote. Is this list accurate? Is there a better source?
- Information for people voting via absentee ballots. How do they register? What are the registration deadlines? How do they get ballots? What are the procedures/deadlines for sending their ballots in?
- Information for overseas voters that may be affected by the Pentagon's decision to restrict access to the "official Web site intended to help overseas absentee voters cast ballots".
- Regular voters...how do they find out where they should vote? Is there a easy-to-use polling place locator?
- Information about groups of people being discouraged to vote. I'm thinking specifically of recent reports of minorities being discouraged to vote by threatening them with arrest at the polls for unpaid parking tickets and the like (it's a partisan example, but this issue affects all involved parties and is damaging to the whole system). Is there practical information for educating people about these tactics and their rights? The article says "many people were wrongly turned away when they could not produce identification"...do you need ID when you vote?
- Electronic voting - Is there anything people need to know beyond that it's gonna suck? Are there Flash interfaces online where people can practice their vote? Do people have the option to vote on paper in some states? (Practical voter info only...I don't care about Diebold lawsuits or anything like that.)
- Any other important issues?
So send me your links and information (or leave it in the comments) and I will compile everything, distill it down to the essentials, and write up an article which will be released into the public domain so anyone can distribute it however they wish. There will also be a compilation of all the relevent information I'm sent for people who want to dig deeper.
I don't really have the time to do this and neither do you probably, but this is important and if you've got the knowledge, please consider helping out. Thanks.