Has social media changed elections?

by - May 15, 2014

A lot sure has changed in the past 20 years, but has the instant gratification of social media and the web made the public’s and media’s expectations for election night unrealistic? Do elections officials on social media see it as a burden or a cost-effective way to stay up-to-the-minute with what’s going on at the polls and provide useful information to voters?
How important is it? “It’s extremely important—Twitter especially,” said Brian Newby, Johnson County, Kansas clerk and author of the Election Diary blog. “I’ve gone from thinking Twitter was essentially useless (2008) to vital, particularly as a monitoring tool.  Newby noted that social media allows his office to monitor legislative activity on elections, what people are experiencing in the days leading to an election, their experiences with advance voting (such as a ballot not received), and then on election day at the polls.  “It lets us be much more responsive to issues because we hear about them right away.  Plus, Twitter especially is central to our connector approach to outreach,” Newby said. “We don’t have an outreach budget ($0), so our approach is to get information to connectors and influential who, in turn, can pivot and get it out to their following.  Twitter is great for that.”

Source: electionlineWeekly

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