The New Vote
Created By: Alex Abreu, Che-Wei Wang, and Vikram Tank

TheNewVote.com was created in 2008 to explore the dichotomy of personal preference and mass influence over the U.S. presidential election. This tension is epitomized in the power held by swing states in determining the election winners and the resultant disenfranchisement of the rest of the voting public. Although TheNewVote is not a replacement for traditional voting, it does provide a platform for all voters to declare their intent to vote and record photographic proof of it on voting day. Every voter's voice matters when it comes to the presidential election, and TheNewVote empowers individuals to create a higher resolution representation of the electoral outcome.

It is our strong belief that vote tabulation should be efficient and error-free. We have all seen maps of electoral projections, and although these maps often go unquestioned, it is necessary to question the validity of the data used to generate them. One must look no further than the 2000 Florida vote tabulation failure to understand the need for stronger accountability throughout our country's voting process. The election result should not be subject to any chance of fraud or manipulation. By allowing users to upload photographic proof of their vote, TheNewVote gives people the power to keeps the system honest, adding a new user-generated layer of checks and balances.

TheNewVote was created using Javascript, PHP, and MySQL, and also makes use of the TextMarks and Google maps APIs. After a user sends a text message to the website’s short code, the system determines where the user’s cell phone number was registered by reverse geo-coding the area code and exchange part of the number. The user’s vote is then recorded and displayed on the U.S. map, reflecting the party for which they voted. On election day, users can match their previous selection with concrete proof of their actual vote. The photographic proof is then displayed upon rollover of the user’s unique map marker.