Election Innovation Challenge

Posted by Committee of Seventy on April 13, 2015

2015 Election Ambassador Corps and Election Innovation Challenge

The Committee of Seventy has organized a volunteer-powered program to inform voters and safeguard elections since 1905. This year, Seventy will launch a new Election Ambassador Corps comprised of young adults and trained by Seventy to help ensure a smooth experience for voters on Election Day. Using their observations from the field, participants will develop ideas for improving the voting process or increasing turnout in the new Election Innovation Challenge.

The rate at which young people participate in elections, and more broadly in our democracy, concerns the Committee of Seventy. According to The Next Mayor’s Tom Ferrick, in the last five years, 70 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds either haven’t voted or even registered to vote. The goal of this program is to provide an enjoyable volunteer experience that also educates participants. By immersing young adults directly in the electoral process, they are more likely to continue down a path of civic engagement.

Election Ambassador Corps
• Receive training in basic voting procedures and election law
• Visit polling places in home neighborhoods in teams of two to four
• Answer voters’ questions about the voting process and report potential problems

Each participating student will be awarded a certificate of completion and has the option to submit a proposal in the Election Innovation Challenge.

Election Innovation Challenge
• Generate ideas to improve the voting experience, increase access to information about elections, or increase voter turnout
• Work individually or in a team with up to four group members
• Win a trip to Seventy’s office and City Hall to meet with staff and public officials

While all proposals submitted will receive feedback, three will be selected to receive additional support from Seventy’s staff and election experts. Projects must be completed in accordance with Committee of Seventy’s non-partisan orientation.

For more information, contact Walker Moseley at wmoseley@seventy.org.


Election Innovation Challenge Description

The EIC tasks participants to create a plan to improve the election process in Philadelphia. This could include, but is not limited to, ideas surrounding increasing voter turnout, improving information accessibility to the general population, simplifying the voting process or improving the voting experience for Philadelphians.

After serving in the Election Ambassador Corps, and gaining firsthand experience to the election process, the Election Ambassador Corps will have the option to complete the Innovation Challenge. Participants may do so individually or in a team with a maximum size of 4 group members. Projects should be completed in accordance with Committee of Seventy’s non-partisan orientation.

Guidelines of Participation

The format through which participants can pitch their ideas is open ended. Potential ways to submit include:

• Written memo, 2-3 pages
• Video presentation, 5 minutes
• A Prezi or Power Point that does not exceed 20 slides

Criteria used to select winner:

• The potential impact on voter registration and/or the voting process and/or voter turnout
• Creativity and innovativeness
• Viable application

Prize for 1st Place and two Honorable Mentions:

(a) Proposal will receive in person feedback from Committee of Seventy Staff and experts to discuss next steps.
(b) A VIP lunch hosted at Committee of Seventy’s office in Eight Penn Center, followed by a behind the scenes tour of City Hall.
(c) Recognition via Seventy’s website, Twitter account and listserv.

Project timeline: May 19, 2015 – June 19, 2005

• May 19th Election Day Program

• May 29th Proposals electronically sent to furtureofthecity@seventy.org

• June 5th Committee of Seventy announces winning proposal and provides feedback to all submissions

• June 19th Committee of Seventy hosts winning team for celebratory lunch and behind the scenes tour of City Hall

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