The 2020 election (not to mention the 2020 Census and redistricting process) in the United States was already going to be special, and that was before the Covid-19 pandemic. How millions of people vote, and how they encourage others to vote – looks very different than any election we’ve seen before.
Time spent online, the volume of digital content, and political polarization are all trending upward. Simultaneously, trust and civility in our institutions and information ecosystems is declining, putting particular importance on the power of the messenger. This is particularly true for underrepresented communities, who continue to face obstacles to the ballot box and are targets of digital disinformation.
This talk will touch on some of the most prominent strategies, tools, tactics – and also persistent challenges – that drove digitally savvy civic engagement in this momentous election year. From the utilization of peer-to-peer messaging via SMS and FB messenger to the simple, yet scientifically informed tactic of asking three friends to vote, we’ll take a look at some of the most prominent practices that integrate tried and true people-powered organizing with best in class technology. And we’ll take a few guesses at what’s to come in the brave new world of civic engagement for the decade ahead.