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04.22.2019 Technology and Innovation
The United States prides itself as a country that champions freedom and democracy, a place where civic participation determines our representation, and, by extension, the policies that define our everyday lives. A significant part of that civic participation is the act of voting, and though voter suppression is as much a part of our history as voting itself, attacks on access to the polls are worse than ever. Driven by disenfranchisement through deliberate misinformation campaigns and outright discriminatory policies, not everyone who lives in this country has the opportunity to leverage their voice by casting their vote.
That’s why the Racial Equity Anchor Collective got together to create WeVoteWeCount.org, a microsite that focuses on one goal: Collecting and amplifying the stories of those who have been impacted by the 2013 Supreme Court decision in the case of Shelby County v. Holder, which reinforced decades of restrictive voting laws.
In order to keep the focal point on disenfranchised voters submitting their stories, ThinkShout partnered with the Anchors to develop an agile microsite, one that could as easily collect stories as it could promote social sharing and action through and across affected communities. As with almost every site we build, action starts in digital but is leveraged for change in real life: In this case, the stories of voter suppression will be used to support action and legislation in an effort to guarantee full voter protection for those impacted—primarily communities of color.
What made this project additionally challenging, however, wasn’t the agility of the site or its distribution tooling, which is all relatively straightforward: It was the timeline under which all partners, including the team at ThinkShout, needed to execute. From start to finish—development through QA to launch—WeVoteWeCount.org was created in three weeks.
WeVoteWeCount.org was a true team effort, and ThinkShout was proud to be included in the project. The aforementioned partner organizations and agencies worked together with a very tight timeline to ensure that what was created was clean, simple, user friendly, as well as extremely accessible and secure, two hallmarks that we aim for in every ThinkShout site.
The site is now live and serving its very specific purpose, with iterative improvements to user experience and design being evaluated and updated through an ongoing analytics process. We’re excited to see the impact that the stories collective via WeVoteWeCount.org will have in a much larger context throughout the year, and are hopeful that those stories will spark action towards guaranteed full voter protection in the United States.
It’s about time.
The Racial Equity Anchor Collective is made up of representatives from the Advancement Project, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Dēmos, Faith in Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS. This collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations (Anchors) is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together they work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential.
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