The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas. The first round of 2013, which opens in February, will invite innovators from all disciplines to focus on tools for open government. In 2012, three challenge rounds, each focused on an emerging trend, drew more than 2,500 entries.
Challenge 1 - on NETWORKS: Winners were announced June 18.
Challenge 2 - on DATA: Winners were announced Sept. 20.
Challenge 3 – on MOBILE: Winners were announced Jan. 17.
Anyone, anywhere can apply for the challenge - whether for-profit start-ups or non-profit ventures. For more information on a variety of topics - from guidelines for for-profits, on intellectual property licensing, open source software and more - visit our FAQ.
The aim of this project is to use mobile technology to make it easier for citizens to be informed and active voters.
2. How will your project use mobile tools and approaches? [2 sentences]
The project is to develop a mobile application using Android and iOS to facilitate nationwide voter registration, absentee requests, voting location search, voting calendar, voting event alert, and more. This project will involve the creation of a mobile application and the generation of a “live” dataset that addresses the challenge of changes at the state and county levels, so that user requests can be fulfilled with accurate information.
This will be a pilot project involving volunteer citizens in a few select states, with the aim of expanding the project nationwide as a follow-up after this pilot project.
(1) Through the pilot state and county websites.
(2) Existing voter outreach programs.
(3) The Federal Election Assistance Commission will be solicited for help recruiting volunteers and notifying citizens as well.
I have developed a relationship with Konnech, an election software and tool manufacturer specializing in election management software. Konnech is currently working on a Web-based project similar to the one proposed here for military personnel and is eager to expand it in two ways: (1) mobile applications and (2) reaching ordinary citizens.
Konnech has already developed an online-based ballot delivery system for the Federal Voter Assistance Program supporting the military. This is useful momentum for expanding the project to ordinary citizens and mobile application.
Higher voter turnout due to easy accessibility and increased awareness of voting related information (e.g. voting locations, deadlines, etc.)
I have been in contact with the president of Konnech, Eugene Yu, who estimates the cost to be $500,000. These funds are needed for software development, hardware, awareness campaign for the application, and a small amount to support research on the success of the project and to share those results.
Please list who is on your team:
Expected number of months to complete project: 6-12 months
Estimated Project Cost: $500,000
Name: Scott W. Campbell, PhD
Email address: email@example.com
Organization [if applicable]: University of Michigan, Department of Communication Studies
City: Ann Arbor
How did you learn about the contest? I am an Associate Professor who studies mobile communication and citizenship. One of my colleagues forwarded an email with information about this grant because it appeared to be right in my area.