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#Votepools - Refined

Organise car/bus-pools to take people from communities to their voting stations. Additionally, use text messaging or microblogging to help organise these at short notice.

Photo of Ramanand Janardhanan
25 23

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What's the challenge
For many people, just getting to their voting station is inconvenient, painful, or time-consuming. Since geographic and economic constraints limit where and how many polling stations can be set up, many people (including the elderly, the disabled, those without their own vehicles) have to depend on public transport, immediate family or friends to take them to vote. But throughout the voting hours, there are people from nearby areas who have vehicles that they use to get to the station. 

Summary: travelling to a voting location is an under-rated barrier to voting, which applies to both ordinary voters and the disabled, and especially affects the latter from exercising their right to franchise.
[Please see attached file containing prototypical scenarios]

What's the concept
Can these vehicles be put to use to create self-organising and ad hoc vehicle pools to take others to voting stations?

Also, to address voters with special needs (who often are the most affected in terms of physically reaching a station), targeted voter pools can be planned that can enable this.

The Hows
[Please see attached file containing prototypical scenarios]

Like in any vehicle-pooling system, the challenges are in advertising seats in a vehicle, the time the driver plans to leave, and the "to" & "from" area. To do this, simple communication technologies such as text messaging, microblogging, or even a website would help organise these "one time, no future obligation" pools.

Imagine a voter who plans to go to her polling station at 11 am, and has a car with three vacant slots. She sends out a tweet with a #votepool message such as:
"3 slots, Washington Avenue to Lincoln Street, #votepool". [This could be auto-posted on a website and sent out via other mediums, such as sms, to subscribers.] People can write in and take up slots.

Voters looking for vehicle pools could subscribe to tweets/site by entering preferred time and locations - a simple matching algorithm (or a volunteer-moderator system) could match people and pools.

All this could also be done a day or week in advance, so that voters can be assured of a lift to the voting venue.

The knock-on effects
Votepooling is also a good way to mobilise communities to go out and vote, by exercising gentle social pressure on voters. Voters are usually motivated by a sense of social participation and choice; helping others exercise their franchise too would redouble this sense.

Also, voters who make a public commitment to ferry others are less likely to drop out of voting on the day.

This can also popularise the concept of carpooling - people who're new to it could get to try it out for a day and perhaps become converts, find friends, etc.

Marketing this
* get a local celebrity to offer lifts to people to the voting station!
* partner with carpooling advocacy groups and websites (such as
* spread the love with bumper stickers ("We Pool Our Vote - Join Us"), twitter badges etc.

[Please see attached file containing prototypical scenarios]

How will this concept improve election accessibility for everyone?

By helping those without easy access to mobility to easily obtain mobility from the community. In addition, make it even more worthwhile for the driver to be useful to the community (one, via voting; two, via enabling other voters). Targeted votepools for those with special needs will make it possible for people with disabilities to comfortably access their voting stations.

How well does this concept adapt to the changing needs of different voter communities?

Unless the day voting becomes highly personalised and localised, voters will have to go to a voting station. The means to reach the station may change, but the need to do so will remain. Hence, pooling vehicles is always likely to be relevant.

What kinds of resources – whether time, money, people, partnerships, technology or otherwise – will be needed to get this concept off the ground?

* no new vehicles have to be used; those already available are to be better utilised * built upon simple and existing communication platforms such as text messaging and microblogging * partnerships with voting agencies could popularise this further. * partnerships with carpooling advocacy groups and websites such as * partnerships with disability support groups for targeted votepools.

My Virtual Team

(incorporates suggestions and inspirations by) Vincent Cheng Joyce Chung Jakob Uhlin Anne-Laure Fayard Jim Rettew Jeroen Spoelstra Adriana Valdez Young Paul Reader Qiu Yi Cansu Akarsu Ashley Jablow

Evaluation results

8 evaluations so far

1. How well does this concept address the needs of voters who might be excluded from elections today because of a disability, difficulty with languages or reading, limited mobility or other conditions?

Really well: this concept clearly addresses the needs of voters with different abilities or limitations. - 12.5%

Pretty well: this concept addresses some of the needs of voters with different abilities or limitations. - 87.5%

Not well: this concept doesn't at all address the needs of voters with different abilities or limitations. - 0%

2. Thinking about the resources needed to implement this concept, how feasible is this concept for your community? (Hint: resources might be money, time, partnerships, or other inputs needed for implementation)

This concept is definitely feasible for my community to implement; the resources needed wouldn't be an issue. - 62.5%

This concept might be feasible for my community to implement, as long as we could find assistance with some of our resource constraints. - 37.5%

This concept is not feasible for my community to implement; it's just too resource-intensive. - 0%

3. How much of an impact would this concept make on you or your community?

This concept would clearly have a positive impact on me or my community. - 50%

This concept might have a positive impact on me or my community, but it's not clear exactly how. - 50%

This concept would not have a positive impact on me or my community. - 0%

4. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world. - 25%

I liked it but preferred others. - 37.5%

It didn't get me overly excited. - 37.5%

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Attachments (2)


Votepools - Prototypes


Prototype Scenarios for Votepools


Join the conversation:

Photo of Edmund Ng

This is a nice idea especially for those who have difficulty traveling on their own, either if they are physically challenged or the elderly. Zimride is really big in US right now but it doesn't work out in Asia or

Maybe it's a cultural thing as people in Asia are more conservative. Another reason to it is probably because the location is too near. In Singapore where you can get from point A to point B in less than 40 minutes whichever way you go, transportation time is short and easily accessible.

I think this works out for US but not that applicable in South East Asia.

Edmund Ng

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