Home » Community News » Yo! Philly Votes Launched- Ushahidi-powered App Will Be Deployed on Election Day to Protect the Vote

Yo! Philly Votes Launched- Ushahidi-powered App Will Be Deployed on Election Day to Protect the Vote

Contact: Faye Anderson @andersonatlarge

Philadelphia, PA – Yo! Philly Votes, a web-based platform to crowdsource election protection, was launched today in Philadelphia, the birthplace of our democracy.

“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 run misleading ads about photo ID requirements. The mixed message will cause confusion and delays 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 in real time.”

Yo! Philly Votes will track and aggregate real-time Election Day incident reports. Our community partners – A. Philip Randolph Institute, Black Youth Vote, Foot Soldiers for Democracy, Generational Alliance, Philadelphia Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Rising 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. They will 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 connect citizens with democracy,” said Philadelphia City Commissioner Stephanie Singer. “Social media and the web are terrific at collecting and disseminating information, and it’s great to see this applied to elections. It’s especially exciting that this information is ‘curated,’ giving the users a measure of the reliability of each source. I’ll be watching Yo! Philly Votes on Election Day.”

Anderson added: “Yo! Philly Votes is at the intersection of civic innovation and civic engagement. It is a bottom-up model of how ordinary citizens can use Web 2.0 tools to protect a fundamental right of our democracy. Philadelphia is a ‘City of Innovators.’ We are pleased to have support from The Knight Foundation Donor-Advised Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation.”

About Yo! Philly Votes: Yo! Philly Votes 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. The information will be archived and made available to election officials, policymakers, journalists, voting rights advocates and academics. For more information, please visit www.PhillyVotes.info.

About Ushahidi: “Ushahidi,” which means “testimony” in Swahili, was a website that was developed 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 for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. They build tools for democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories. For more information, please visit www.Ushahidi.com.

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