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Shedding Light on New Jersey’s Local Elections

Ron Rivers~January 1, 2019 /Politics/Technology

OurSociety is a 501c3 non-profit based in NJ that developed a free campaign platform (beta) for local candidates. Our all-volunteer team consisted of members from across the country who dedicated significant time and capital over the past year to improve New Jersey residents access to their local elections. In the end we discovered data that sheds light on a serious problem regarding citizen access to local candidate information. While our beta was localized to New Jersey we imagine this problem may extend beyond the Garden State.

2018 was our first year prototyping our beta platform and today we’ve released our impact report. It contains both summaries of our efforts and detailed documentation about how we went about creating the platform, acquiring users, and promoting our vision of better local government access in our test municipalities. It’s our hope that by sharing this with the general Medium audience that it may inspire others to take action in their communities, offer insight on how we may improve in 2019, or open up potential collaboration opportunities.

Access to local election candidate information in New Jersey is poor

Highlights:

— In 2018 77% of local candidates in New Jersey had no dedicated website or Facebook page about their campaign
 — 50% of candidates had no online presence at all (No personal website or Facebook) 
 — 192 Citizen Users and 18 Candidate Users participated in our Beta launch 
 — Our Citizen Users were from 62 different municipalities across the state 
 — We believe that our findings demonstrate a genuine need to continue our efforts to open up access to local politics for New Jersey residents. 
 
Read the full Annual Report online here: https://www.oursociety.org/2018-annual-report/
 
Download the Annual Report in PDF format: Click here