Here is an idea I am putting out there: Think awesome social experiment.

American Idol style text voting for US president.

Set up a twitter like service and allow anyone to vote (1) time for the 2008 US president election. Prior to the election you let people vote on questions like “If the election was held today..”. Use this for beta testing and polling up to the election day. But on the big day of the dem/rep primaries and general election, you clear all votes and let the entire world vote for a candidate. example: TEXT vote “A” to 3434300.

The website would need some nice fancy graphs, and stats, and a google maps mashup with red and blue colored states and countries. Try to break down the data by geo-location, age, ethnicity, etc.. you’ll get this data via the website profile user fill out when signing up, then just combine with their vote. (if thy say it is okay, otherwise votes are not attributed to an particular user)

Ways to promote it:

  • Team with MTV’s Rock the Vote who has a direct line to the kids.
  • Team with the campaigns themselves (both sides, or 3 if Nader is in)
  • Team with a 3rd party like clean elections fund or
  • Partner with a wireless carrier who wants tons of free press.

Ways to make money off it:

  • Capture basic demographics data and sell back to the campaigns
  • Adsense for cell phones baby
  • Run it like a lottery, where it is $.99 per vote but 10 random people win a fat cash prize

Why do this?

  • Very simple, it would be the coolest mass opinion poll the world has ever seen.
  • Social impact.
  • Get the kids engaged in the democratic process.

This idea is copyright 2007 Joshua Strebel, I am open-sourcing the idea and asking others to improve upon it, and even implement it.

Share your thoughts.

Update: Barack Obamma’s website links here.

2 thoughts on “Text “Vote” for President in the 2008 Election”

  1. Joshua – I think you’re onto something here.

    You could probably get some programming help too from political aficionados and the Rock the Vote crowd.

    Are you thinking a for-profit or non-for-profit venture? =)

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