Internet activists agree: the Web needs to become a political issue, one that inspires citizens to vote.
So activist group Fight for the Future, along with Personal Democracy Media, has started a new campaign. Called The Internet Votes, it’s aimed at getting people to register to vote with the Internet in mind. It’s as simple as filling out your name and address, and the group will send you a pre-stamped, already-filled-out form to mail to your county clerk.
The goal? One million registered voters, which Fight for the Future believes will prove that Internet activists constitute a significant voting block.
This isn’t the first time Fight for the Future has gotten masses of Web users involved in politics. The group famously helped sign up users to pledge their opposition to Internet-threatening bills in Congress like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
Internet freedom is a new issue in the 2012 political landscape. In 2008, the Democratic National Committee barely mentioned the topic and Republicans didn’t at all; this year, both committed entire paragraphs to the subject. Both, however, are vague. And neither party seems to have an edge on the issue: both parties have produced politicians who fight for Internet freedom, and both parties have sponsored legislation thought to infringe upon it.
The Internet Votes campaign doesn’t offer any advice on which candidates or issues to vote for. Like the Internet Bus, it seems to be not bipartisan so much as nonpartisan—rather than playing party politics, it adopts the simple viewpoint that a free Internet is an important issue to voters.
The Internet Votes campaign also includes a Facebook app lets you check if your friends have registered, and enthusiastic website owners can even put an Internet Votes widget on their site.
“Recent research showing that online reminders and social signals—such as seeing that one’s friends are pledging to vote on Facebook—can significantly increase actual voting behavior,” Fight for the Future said in a press release.
Photo via @FightfortheFTR/Twitter