2014 Midterm Elections, Get Out The Vote!

i-voted-sticker

Since 2004, WordPress has set out with an ambitious goal in mind — to democratize publishing and put state-of-the-art tools in front of publishers both large and small across the planet. We believe strongly in this vision because when more people have access to powerful tools on the web, that in-turn empowers them to do great things and publish amazing content. We feel the same way when it comes to democratizing, well, democracy — and in just a few weeks, citizens across the United States will have a unique opportunity to flex their political muscle and vote in the 2014 Midterm Elections.

For our part, we want to provide our US-based users a set of resources to help them make a smart, informed decision when it comes to who they will vote for. We also want to provide a toolkit so that they can get more information on where to vote, which issues are at stake and of course, after voting occurs, a way to show their pride and encourage others to go get out the vote.

We’ve teamed up with the good folks from The Pew Charitable Trusts, who, along with Google, and election officials nationwide, have developed the The Voting Information Project (VIP). Together, we’re offering cutting-edge tools that give voters access to the customized information they need to cast a ballot on or before Election Day. The Voting Information Project is offering free apps and tools that provide polling place locations and ballot information for the 2014 election across a range of technology platforms. The project provides official election information to voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and voters can find answers to common questions such as “Where is my polling location?” and “What’s on my ballot?” through the convenience of their phone or by searching the web.

The only way a set of resources will be effective is if they make it into the right hands, so if you’re eligible to vote in the US Midterm Elections, take advantage of these tools and share them with your readers.

It’s super easy using the [voterinfotool] shortcode. Just create a new post or page and drop the shortcode in (or click here to create a new draft with the embed prefilled). If you want to customize the experience a bit more you can drop in code directly from the Voter Information Tool with options like height, width, and colors and we’ll convert it to a proper embed code.

After you vote, either by mail, or in early voting, OR on Election Day, please embed the I Voted badge into your WordPress.com site or blog and share it with your audience, along with friends throughout your social network. Here’s how to install the I Voted badge:

  1. Go to your blog’s dashboard.
  2. Look under the Appearance menu for the “Widgets” option.
  3. Locate the “I Voted” widget and drag it to the sidebar of your choosing.
  4. Give the widget a title (optional) and hit the save button. Your badge will now be displayed for all your readers to see.

Voting is our most fundamental responsibility as citizens — without it, our American democracy wouldn’t exist. WordPress.com is a platform that gives everyday people the ability to share their voice and we’re asking you to take advantage of this voice — by exercising your right to vote. We’re asking you for your help to spread the word, encourage participation and get out the vote on November 4th, 2014.

If you have any questions, please let them in the comments and we’ll be sure you help wherever we can. Thanks!


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40 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. thesciencegeek

    Great idea.

    The turnout in the 2010 midterm elections was was only 37.8 %. Anything that can improve this poor figure has got to be good.:)

    The Science Geek

    Liked by 9 people

  2. Leslie Stockton

    How do i remove the widget from my DASHBOARD completely??? there is no option to do so???

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wyrd Smythe

    Bravo!! Bravo!! Me like!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. cadamy

    This is great. Thank you for posting!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Stephen A. Watkins

    So… if nothing comes up when you enter your own registered US address… what does that mean?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Peter Slutsky

      Stephen, state data is being released on a rolling basis as the folks from Pew get official sign-off from the state’s election authority and the data passes a rigorous QA process, then the information will make its way into the lookup app.

      It’s a bit of a slow process, but it’s the nature of the beast when you’re dealing with so many election jurisdictions. Please check back soon and the data for your locality should be there.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Stephen A. Watkins

    Great, thanks for the response. I was concerned that possibly certain states (in particular those that have a bad track record in terms of encouraging citizens to participate in the democratic process) might be withholding this information.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Peter Slutsky

      That was my concern as well and it was one of my top questions that I had when we were testing, pre-release. I’m told that this is par for the course – some states are better than others, but since there is not a unified process when it comes to this data, it’s just slow and one has to exercise as much patience as possible.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. calihurder

    Re-blogging Peter. Really good stuff…thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Clare Flourish

    Excellent. I am delighted to hear it.

    Would you do the same for the United Kingdom elections in May?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Slutsky

      Thanks, Clare! We’d love to promote this type of engagement anywhere we can in the world – after all – WordPress.com is a global brand (http://en.wordpress.com/stats/). Do you know if there are similar organizations who are building and promoting these types of tools? Maybe Google will have a similar project for the UK elections.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. kayabernathy

    I am trying but I do not know enough to follow your directions. I voted several weeks ago by mail — guess my age!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Slutsky

      Thanks for the response! When you log into your Dashboard, the appearance menu appears near the bottom of the left-hand side of the screen. Let me know if you’re still having trouble finding your way around the backend and I can email me some more resources.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. David Boles

    I love how this BIG THING appeared on my Admin dashboard! This is important and vital, and you made it super-simple to get more information and add the badge to the sidebar. Bravo! We need more proactive human efforts like this! Shake the tree of freedom until it bleeds!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Stef

    LOVE this! Thank you for making the process very easy; I’m delighted to be able to share this info with my readers!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Perse

    Forgive my ignorance, but what are we voting for? Is this internal to WordPress or federal?

    Liked by 2 people

  13. kspoints

    Thank you for making this so easy! This is really fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ngobesingromanus

    I think it is important for a citizen to vote. When we do not go to the polls on voting day to caste our vote, we give room to what we do not like to prevail. It can also be interpreted to mean we are self-centered and think only of what interests us and not the common good. I think the value you place on your vote reflects the value you place on your voice and hence on yourself. Let’s go out and vote when we are expected to.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. M-R

    Not an American, but I say GOODONYOUALL !!! Everyone should vote. NOT voting is being totally irresponsible.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ziya Tamesis

    This is a fantastic idea. Thanks so much for making the tools so accessible.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. katywalterswritesews

    What a great idea. Not US but delighted for you all anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Frank

    A great and superb idea. Just do not let the naysayers put any restriction on this like a “virtual poll tax” or some idiotic identity confirmation scheme to discourage encouraging vothing! Even though my newbie little blog has nothing to do voting it is going to receive this ‘treatment’ with a Be Sure and Vote post. Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. bodobeers

    thanks for the reminder, just checked to find nearest voting location for next week. calendar reminder set!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. weggieboy

    I voted by mail in early October. I, of course, therefore applaud you for this effort to encourage others to do their civic duty.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. annette.c.boehm

    I used the shortcode in a post, but the tool comes up as a blank box. Why is that? Does it look like a blank box when others pull up my post, too? (i.e. could someone take a look and tell me?) Thanks. I do love the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. dogleadermysteries

    Thanks for offering this for our blogs! I voted by mail and am now on a quick visit to family. So happy to add this to my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ljwrittenworks

    This is an awesome idea! I love it! I know so many people that choose not to vote because they are uneducated on what is going on politically. What a great resource this is! Thanks so much for taking the time to help others make good decisions when it comes to voting!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Boyer Writes

    We always vote early….look at the candidates…their voting records and position on issues….then we mark those who appear to want to get the job done and keep our democracy strong. If your voting place has an early voting….avoid the lines and do it early. Thank God we still have a say-so. Pass this on to the young people you know who are voting age….for our vets who fought for freedom are dying off rapidly.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. doctom2010

    I’ve noticed that you have not posted my comment here recently on the Election Boycott Advocates. Are we now into censorship or excluding contrary comments?? Or must I post all opposing comments elsewhere, Mr. Slutsky? Great reflection on “democracy”.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. flynnriley

    It’s that time of year for those that don’t vote to complain about something. If that doesn’t put the pew in your Cheerios I don’t know what does. Nice article.
    -F

    Liked by 3 people

  27. ScienceMeander

    Voting uninformed is no better than not voting at all. Maybe even worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. greenwichstreets

    Why isn’t the voting information online. Seems strange I have to download an app to find out this one time information, that’s a cumbersome way to get data.
    Also ironically, the Pew Charitable Trust never surveys Native Americans and I can’t ever remember any of their polls including information on Native Americans even though they cover many other minorities.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Mark Gannon

    I’m regsitered to vote in the US and will definitely be voting, but I have reservations about for profit companies, regardless of their namby pamby “values”, engaging in the electoral process in this manner. Both Automattic and Google have their own political perspective and would only be doing this because they see at as futhering their ability to make profits.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. sfroese

    One word–VOTE!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. atridim

    I have proudly displayed my ‘I VOTED’ emblem on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. humanrightswarrior

    I really appreciate this tool. Thank you! I added it to an older post about why I vote.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. purplepheonix

    Unfortunately, I am not old enough to vote yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. thisisyourbestyear

    Thanks for the information. I posted about voting–take a look: thisisyourbestyear.com/2014/10/31/dont-let-them-down-vote/

    Liked by 2 people

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