Name: Jessica Black

Advisor: Joshua Grimm

Category: Other election (Louisiana primary and Congressional election)

Purpose: The number of people 18-29 that voted in 2012 declined six percent since 2008. For me, I don’t vote. I am one of those people who are scolded for not taking an initiative in the future. I don’t have cable or read traditional media as much as I should. I neglect casting in my opinion because the process seems so difficult—how am I supposed to know how to register and where am I supposed to go on election day? We are, in my opinion, uninformed and intimidated by this process.

The purpose of my project is to make voting easier for students. I would like to show students why it is relevant for them to vote, explain the voting process in a simple way and provide as much information as I can about the people students are trusting to lead us. This proposal will involve various modes of social media centered around a website.

I am shooting for a shift from uninformed voting to educating college students.  Providing them the facts and in time have them elect candidates into office based on what he or she believes in rather than simply a name. I would provide extensive candidate profiles, and my project would include links to articles and broadcasts of news organizations and other reliable sites by the use of keywords. This will help students connect to the news and hopefully pay more attention to these modes in the future to keep up with events like this.

To shatter the intimidating misconception of voting I would, again, like to inform college students. I would include Google maps that will show the different places elections are held. The registration process will be put into user friendly steps as I will strive for a stress free list. People need to know where parking is available and how much it will cost, if any. I would like to post videos of students before and after voting to gage their opinions, as well as informational videos on what to do come election day. By making people less intimidated and willing to vote, they will pay attention to the news to keep up on candidates.

I would like to stress the significance of relevance. This would include discussions where the community can engage and talk about certain issues and political candidates. This type of interaction is crucial because it stimulates thought on important issues and might lead to changed views. My idea would promote a two-way level of communication instead of the linear model of political information as it is now. There would be talk and research on how issues affect our community. In the future, political candidates will be encouraged to join and talk to community members about these issues.

Process: I would do some research for the basis of the project. This would include polling LSU students, asking them if they vote, if they research prior to voting and so forth. I would also get testimonials from students as to why they do or do not vote, what they consider when voting, if they understand the process, and where they find out about candidates. Asking these questions before beginning will allow me to tailor a website to meet the problem areas. I will then work with other organizations to compile information on candidates and come up with aggregated news content. We may not always have access to the TV or the newspaper, but college students are often connected to the Internet. A website and social media accounts would then be made. The Nov. 4 and Dec. 6 elections will be used as a test run. A mobile app would then be created that is easy for students to navigate.

Social Media: I would create a Facebook page that gives students candidate and election updates through posts while referring them back to the site. A Youtube channel will be created for the informational videos that are also posted on the site. This idea requires a Twitter account where I could live tweet “election day,” specifically the lines and parking. When the lines get low I could tweet, telling students they should come vote while lines are short. I would like to integrate Geosocial Networking, specifically utilizing it to where we could provide wait times, traffic alerts on the way, and even connect with other people who might be waiting in line as well.

Engage Community: Optional polls will be taken asking LSU students to tell what candidates they like, what issues are important to them and other questions like that. It will ask people what they think about what is happening in regards to these relevant issues and encourage them to voice their questions and concerns.

Measure Success: The upcoming elections will help determine how helpful the site is. Google analytics will be a way to track web traffic to the site. Polls of users, as previously stated, will also provide the effectiveness.

Time Range: This would be the full year project due April 20 in order to include the December election.

Why Mine: Other sites like this found on Google are confusing. They don’t possess enough information, you have to create a profile to view the information. The site needs to be easy or no one will use it. As soon as I saw that I had to create a profile I left the site. Mine will consist of localized voting, focusing on LSU students.

The Future: This idea is meant to start out helping the LSU campus, but I would like to expand it and make it available for campuses like ULL and UNO. So basically, starting with three Baton Rouge zip codes and then expanding to other campuses around the nation. Ultimately, I want it to be available for everyone in the U.S. as a one stop shop for everything you need to be prepared for political elections.