Working America Helps Voters Report Problems with Mobile Messaging


mData mapHere’s a great example of how a text message campaign can encourage supporters to become reporters – informing people about important developments right as they happen.

A new Pennsylvania law was recently passed that would require voters to show ID before voting. Working America is concerned that the law may have a negative effect on voter turnout, since 11% of Americans don’t have the kind of ID required by the law. And those without ID are likelier to be over the age of 65 or African-American, or to earn less than $35,000 annually.

On election day in April, Working America sent a text message to their targeted list of Pennsylvania supporters, asking them to text in and tell their stories if they have any trouble with the new voter ID law. The text message campaign did three things. First, just by appearing on people’s phones, it raised voter awareness about the ID law. Second, it let them know that they had a voice and some power in the situation. Finally, it provided a way for individual experiences to turn into something bigger – a crowdsourced report of exactly how the new law was affecting voters.

For more great examples of on-the-ground reporting from everyday cell phone users, check out these stories about Detroit’s traffic pollution or WNYC’s snowplow map.

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