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Sabio's #VLInnovators Challenge - Electa: We're Here, We Vote

By SaraChicaD - October 15, 2014 2 Comments

We're here, we vote -- that's the motto of Sabio's Cohort 4 project, Electa. We submitted Electa to the Voto Latino Innovators Challenge in hopes that we can make this geolocation voting tool available to everyone as open source software.

The challenge, in case you haven't heard of it, is meant to "get Millennials, especially Latino Millennials, thinking about technology both as an innovative change agent and as a potential career." Our project, Electa, fits the bill perfectly, per the Challenge website, as it is "a way tech could be used to make life better for Latinos, we can help you find the tech partners – and some of the tech training – you will need to carry out your vision."

Perhaps what makes this Sabio project even more exciting is that our Cohort 4 is made up of mostly Latinos -- so we're a bunch of Latinos creating tech for Latinos -- something we think truly embodies the spirit of the #VLInnovators Challenge.

We created Electa based off of the need to engage Latino voters, and conversations team members had with Latinos and Latinas who work in engaging Hispanic voters through non-profit and political campaigns. Electa is the solution we created to the frustrations they expressed.

What is Electa? Here's our project summary:
Every month 50,000 Latinos become eligible to vote. Yet, in 2012 while 12.2 million voted, 11.1 million did not. Barriers such as language, education, and access (e.g., voter ID laws) contribute to this low voter turnout.

Recognizing that Latinos over-index in mobile use and half of Spanish Internet searches are done via mobile, Electa will be a bilingual tool that harnesses the power of mobile to help Latinos register to vote, vote in higher numbers, and stay engaged with local political and community issues. Specifically in states with stringent voter ID laws, this tool can help Latinos meet voting requirements.
Our project will produce a working prototype of Electa by December.
Electa’s main features include: a method for voters to verify voter registration information, access to voting district information using geolocation, candidate history and profiles, a “Yelp”-like rating system for elected officials, as well as information about volunteer opportunities, local organizations and events, email newsletters, and a social media component allowing voters to share voting experiences with social networks.
We're appreciative of the folks who put this Challenge together, specifically: Voto Latino, Duke University, Google,  the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the University of California Humanities Research Institute and HASTAC.

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