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Yo! Philly Votes Launched

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Yo! Philly Votes is at the intersection of civic innovation and civic engagement. The project to crowdsource election protection stems from Random Hacks of Kindness at Drexel University. The …

Yo! Philly Votes is at the intersection of civic innovation and civic engagement. The project to crowdsource election protection stems from Random Hacks of Kindness at Drexel University. The citizen-led initiative will promote data-driven models of accountability and transparency in election administration.

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  • 1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Faye Anderson (215) 995-5028 @andersonatlarge Yo! Philly Votes Launched Ushahidi-powered App Will Be Deployed on Election Day to Protect the VotePhiladelphia, PA – October 31, 2012 – Yo! Philly Votes, a web-based platform to crowdsourceelection protection, was launched today in Philadelphia, the birthplace of our democracy.(Yo! Philly Votes Logo)“Yo! Philly Votes empowers ordinary Americans to protect the vote,” said Faye M. Anderson,project manager of the citizen-led initiative. “The Department of State continues to runmisleading ads about photo ID requirements. The mixed messages will cause confusion anddelays at the polls. On Election Day, Philly voters will be the eyes and ears on the ground.They will bear witness to help ensure that problems encountered at the polls are corrected inreal time.”Yo! Philly Votes will track and aggregate real-time Election Day incident reports. Ourcommunity partners – A. Philip Randolph Institute, Black Youth Vote, Foot Soldiers forDemocracy, Generational Alliance, Philadelphia Coalition on Black Civic Participation andRising Sons – will monitor election activities from outside polling places. If they see something,they will say something. They will call the Election Protection Hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE. Theywill also report problems via the website, text message or Twitter.“Yo! Philly Votes is one of the most exciting new ways people are using technology to connectcitizens with democracy,” said Philadelphia City Commissioner Stephanie Singer. “Socialmedia and the web are terrific at collecting and disseminating information, and it’s great to seethis applied to elections. It’s especially exciting that this information is ‘curated,’ giving theusers a measure of the reliability of each source. I’ll be watching Yo! Philly Votes on ElectionDay.”Anderson added: “Yo! Philly Votes is at the intersection of civic innovation and civicengagement. It is a bottom-up model of how ordinary citizens can use Web 2.0 tools to protecta fundamental right of our democracy. Philadelphia is a ‘City of Innovators.’ We are pleased tohave support from The Knight Foundation Donor-Advised Fund of The PhiladelphiaFoundation.”About Yo! Philly Votes: Yo! Philly Votes stems from Random Hacks of Kindness at DrexelUniversity. The citizen-led initiative will promote data-driven models of accountability andtransparency in election administration. The information will be archived and made available to
  • 2. election officials, policymakers, journalists, voting rights advocates and academics. For moreinformation, please visit www.PhillyVotes.info.About Ushahidi: “Ushahidi,” which means “testimony” in Swahili, was a website that wasdeveloped to map reports of post-election violence in Kenya in 2008. Today, Ushahidi is a non-profit tech company that specializes in developing free and open source software forinformation collection, visualization and interactive mapping. The company builds tools fordemocratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals toshare their stories. For more information, please visit www.Ushahidi.com. ###