A Long Awaited Update

With an entire summer of political campaign frenzy and hullaballoo, even with the presidential election more than a year away, I spent the majority of the time thinking and rethinking my idea.

The majority of the research I had read so far indicated that young people are largely not registered to vote and, even if they are, have low turnout rates. I created this quick survey, which I sent out this past week, to gauge registration rates amongst my social network community and was surprised by the results (click on the image to see the full report). 

While my results are based on only 70 people at this point, it did get me thinking - if the people I have access to are already registered, what is the best use of my time? Try to register people I do not have easy access to (requiring further research into which group(s) that may be) or engage the audience I can reach in ways that will encourage them to get their registered butts to the polls. As always, inspiration strikes at the eleventh hour, and after a lengthy conversation with Luke DuBois last night (quite literally), I figured it out. 

I intend on creating:

  • A live interactive comedy show: I'm hoping to partner with Electoral Dysfunction, a political improv team, to help bring that to fruition. 
  • A simple webpage that will 1) direct visitors to the relevant registration form for the state they need to register in if they have no yet done so, 2) integrate an issue informing service such as I Stand With to provide visitors a way to see which candidates most align with their views, and 3) sign up for reminders to vote on Election Day (funny reminders spread through email and social media; this is something I will have to build myself but there are pre-existing APIs and services that I can integrate for this)

My updated thesis statement is thus: 

“Murica Votes” is an interactive live comedy show and media campaign that informs young voters, ages 18 - 29, on the issues and players of the upcoming 2016 presidential elections as well as encourages eligible youth to register in an effort to increase the political engagement of a demographic that registers and votes at historically low levels but holds power in number and participatory influence. 

Below is a mental map of the three different areas and how they come together

Additionally, I have started Kanban-ing (not sure of the appropriate verb) in an effort to institute a project management system that will, for lack of a better way to put it, get me off my butt and doing the ol' work thang. I am working on a tight 2 month schedule before delivery and there are a number of moving parts to organize. 

This week I will be focusing on creating a separate production calendar for the show itself, and start reaching out to teams and players to get the ball rolling on that. Exciting stuff!

Sriya Sarkar