Every election, Gotham Gazette publishes a last minute voters guide. We almost always include every local race along with a round up of our coverage of the issues in that district and the race itself. From Surrogate Court and judicial convention delegates to NYC congressional races; and sometimes we’re the only publication in town that can tell you whether there’s a race in your precinct.
Every election, we also provide a roundup of basic information for voters: how to find your polling place, voting rights, special instructions for first time voters. And, who to call to report problems at the polls. NYPIRG, the League of Women Voters and the NYCLU all provide election hotlines and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund takes calls in a half dozen additional languages. Notably absent from our standard “What If You Encounter Problems at the Polls?” paragraph, though, is a single URL.
Curiously, though, beyond the Twitter Voter Report, I don’t know of any mobile or web-based poll watcher projects. I suspect there are two good reasons for this: One, if you have a cellphone, you can call from your polling place and maybe get the issue resolved in time to vote. And two, if you’re doing more than reporting a problem, past tense, it helps to be able to talk to a person. A human being, who can answer your questions. The hotlines we publish are answered by real people. Nonetheless, it is 2008. So I wonder: where are the web 2.0 poll watching tools?
Call this asking the lazy web, but I’m hoping you know.