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SXSW Interactive 2015

Digitizing Democracy: Beats, Bytes, Bipartisanship

Can technology save democracy? Technology has substantially changed the political landscape for campaigns and elections. Databases now power voter files and social media metrics and marketing data have made campaign messaging and marketing strategies more sophisticated than ever before.

Tech tools have helped campaigns to target and persuade voters, but have they eroded their democratic power in the process? In this session we'll turn a critical eye on the way technology is being used to support elections and government--from campaigns, to voting, to municipal processes--and ask, "Can a digitized democracy become our new normal?"

Join the hosts of Politini for a lively discussion with Lesbians Who Tech.

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  1. Can Technology Save Democracy?
  2. The bottom-line of democracy is voter participation. How has technology actually boosted voter turnout over the years?
  3. Campaigns use advanced databases to crunch voter files, target and reach voters, and they’re using social media to engage the electorate. One could argue that campaigns, rather than the people, benefit most from tech as it boosts their marketing capacity. But what about voters? How is tech being used as a tool to empower voters and boost their political power?
  4. We bank and pay our bills online, and most of our most personal records are digitized. So why can’t we vote online too?
  5. Politics has historically been dominated by lawyers, but we’re seeing more and more tech minds get engaged. How can these innovative minds help us rethink democracy?



Aisha Moodie-Mills, CEO/Host, Politini Media

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Policy and Civic Engagement
  • Level: Beginner
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