We hope everyone’s enjoying the democracy. In other news…
We’ve got voter ID information up on our polling station finder, we’re excited about SoPN parties next week (join us!) and we’re pondering the limits of civic tech…
🎫 If your name’s not down, you’re not coming in 🎫
Like last year, we’ve collated information on the voter ID pilots happening in a small number of local authorities with elections on 2 May. This is all plugged into Where Do I Vote? to help make sure people remember their ID. In Derby, for example.
Last year we wrote this blogpost on the 2018 voter ID pilots and included a handy chart of what was happening where. We might get around to doing the same thing this year in a future blog.
⏰ It’s nearly time to party… ⏰
This time next week, it’ll be SoPN o’clock. Well, assuming councils publish them on time. That’s Statements of Persons Nominated for those at the back — where we get the official list of candidates for every election. We’re throwing laptop-based parties across the country to turn those SoPNs into useful, accessible data in our database.
You bring a laptop, we provide some snacks and some guidance, and together we save democracy. See the full list of parties and sign up!
💪 From civic tech to civic empowerment 💪
Here’s an interesting blog post from a big funder in the area formerly known as ‘civic tech’ — a label that probably applies to Democracy Club.
“Over the past 10 years, our team at Omidyar Network invested in civic technologies…We believed that focusing on these two types of tech would make government more responsive and improve people’s quality of life…
“Ten years later, some things have panned out the way we predicted, and other things not so much…”
“We’ve broadened the frame of this impact area from ‘Civic Tech’ to ‘Civic Empowerment’ to acknowledge that technologies must be coupled with organising strategies, as well as capacity building and process improvements, to help communities learn to engage government, and to help government learn to use technology effectively.”
It’s a cracking read. We’ve had several conversations with Luminate (formerly Omidyar Network) and hope to hear a bit more about this soon.
📅 What’s next? 📅
We’ve now had polling station data from 150 councils (out of about 250 with elections on 2 May) and Chris, Will and Peter are working hard to import that data into our system and keep our council partners up to date. This should help hundreds of thousands of people come May!
And we’ll be preparing — decorating the tree, putting our stockings up, leaving out mince pies — for SoPN Day!