Announcing Electable

by October 26, 2014

Election night in a newsroom is like the Super Bowl for journalists. It’s all hands on deck. Each person has their role. Everyone is incredibly focused. There’s usually pizza.

It’s also high stress; and the culmination of weeks of stress. In my career, as each election season passed, I found a growing need to make things easier.

In 2007, I was a wet behind the ears journalist covering my first election. My newspaper, like many others, solicited responses from candidates to a questionnaire. These letters were written by typewriter – in 2007; and for several years to come.

While this was the habit of one reporter with decades of experience, the lack of innovation was not limited to the newspaper. On election night, my assignment was to photograph reaction to results at the Grundy County courthouse. There I found dozens of people circled around a projection screen, displaying the plain text updates from the County Clerk’s website.

Was this the best we could do? Clearly not.

Local elections are incredibly important to a citizen’s day-to-day life. These are the officials that decide to put a stop light down the street; they approve the high school’s music budget; they put the rules in place that will attract (or detract) business from your area.

And yet, voter turnout is at its strongest during Presidential elections. It’s easy for a voter to be exposed to Presidential candidates; through national media coverage, advertising and canvasing. But local candidates don’t have this power. The responsibility is on local news outlets to get the word out broadly.

Electable seeks to empower news outlets to better accomplish this. No longer should voters need to search archives for candidate information; no longer should candidates rely on yard signs for outreach.

For candidates, for votes, for journalism; Electable is here to make things easier.