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It's time to volunteer to make elections better!

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We push a button like this and elections happen

In today’s blog, we launch candidate crowdsourcing for the May local elections! And we’re looking for more party hosts, research on election reminders, and introductions to unions.

🚀 We are go for May 2019 🚀

We’ve started adding the May elections to our system! First up are all the areas with all-up elections.

You can see the already quite giant list of elections — and begin to add candidate details — here!

The best place to find candidates so far is probably via twitter or facebook. The twitter hashtag #LE2019 is already looking busy. If you spot a candidate, try their name in the search box on the candidates crowdsourcer homepage and either add them or update their details!

Where we have email addresses for the local parties (thanks to your volunteering efforts!), we’ll be emailing them soon.

🎊 Let’s all celebrate and have a good time 🎊

So, we’ve kicked off crowdsourcing. Hurrah! With all your help we’ll make a good start. But we know from previous years that once we get the official Statements of Persons Nominated (4 April, 5pm), there will be much more to do. And SoPNs means SoPN parties!

Thank you to volunteers who have offered to host a SoPN party. So far we’ve pencilled in:

  • London (has no elections, but is selflessly serving the democratic good of the nation)
  • Cambridge (ditto)
  • Stroud (ditto)
  • Bath (actually has elections!)

We’re going to need a few more! Anyone fancy hosting in Belfast? Brighton? York? Luton? Middlesbrough? Stoke?

We can provide helpful hints on locations, the format and so on. And cake or beer vouchers as appropriate.

If you’re even slightly tempted, get in touch and we’ll talk you through it!

🔔 Election reminders 🔔

With all our lovely scheduled election and by-election data, we may be able to help more people to take part in elections via the power of a humble reminder.

We’re looking for examples of election reminders and any evidence about whether they work to increase turnout.

There’s some work in the US on this, but we’ve not seen any in the UK. Please let us know if you have!

If nothing turns up, we’ll aim to partner with academics and someone who owns a list of emails to run a randomised trial. That’d be fun. More to follow!

📣 Getting election data to more people 📣

Are you a member of a union? We’d like to chat to digital or campaigner folks in unions about using Democracy Club data. If you can help us out with introductions or suggestions, get in touch!

We’ll also be doing a vast amount of outreach over the next few months to encourage more such partnerships. Suggestions welcome.

📅 What’s next? 📅

We’ll be adding more elections to the crowdsourcer, thinking about widgets, fixing some bugs and we’ll have an update from our newest team member! And we’ll be keeping an eye on the news, as always… ever alert for that lectern.

Forward!

Photo credit: wlodi