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Oct

27


2010

Vote Socially with Foursquare’s I Voted Badge

Patrick Ruffini

Patrick Ruffini

Engage is proud to be working with Foursquare, JESS3, the Voting Information Project, and all-star team of partners to deliver the first-ever virtual “I Voted” badge for checking in at the polls on Election Day. The “I Voted” project is the first-ever political use of a geosocial location platform on this massive a scale — encompassing over 108,000 unique voting locations in the United States.

Getting your “I Voted” badge is easy. When you’re at the polls on Election Day, pull up your Foursquare app and check in at your local polling place. Make sure you say “Vote” or “Voted” in your check-in, and you’ll be awarded the “I Voted” badge — a modern take on the “I Voted” sticker you’ll get when voting. The vast majority of polling places in the country will be loaded as Election Day-specific locations in Foursquare (a search for “Voting” will take you to ones nearby ) and on Election Day, check-ins at these locations will be used to power a striking, nationwide data visualization of voting activity throughout the country.

Here’s how the process works on the mobile Foursquare app. When you’re waiting to vote, just pull out your phone and your local polling place should appear in Foursquare (if not, a simple “Voting” search should bring it up):

And here’s what it’ll look like on Election Day in your community:


2010 has been a watershed year for social media and politics. We wanted to see if that extended to the bleeding edge of the social web, location-based networks like Foursquare.

Malcolm Gladwell notwithstanding, we believe social media has the potential to spark a new wave of citizen participation. How? By connecting the people who don’t typically vote to the people who do, and giving people the extra nudge they need to get involved. On social media, a little reinforcement — like a few of your friends telling you they’re voting — can go a long way.

We also think the data visualization potential is compelling. Election Day GOTV is all about getting your voters to the polls — and knowing how much your “universe” has already voted vs. how many still need to vote. “I Voted” will give us the Internet’s first real-time view of voting statistics as they unfold throughout Election Day, showing us how many people checked-in, and thus voted, at different times throughout the day.

What if you’re one of the millions of Americans who has already voted by mail or absentee? No problem. You can use the Shout feature anywhere in the app to suggest your friends go and vote and get your badge.

We want to extend a special thanks to Jesse Thomas, Leslie Bradshaw and the team at JESS3, who designed and developed “I Voted,” to Jordan Raynor, whose Act.ly petition for an “I Voted” badge got the ball rolling, to the folks at the Voting Information Project and Google for leading the charge for truly open election data and putting together a national dataset of polling places we’re using to power the site, and to Foursquare, for enthusiastically embracing the idea and seeing the civic potential of social media.

In a few days, it’ll be time to check-in at the polls. You can find your local polling place right here:

 

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