“Election Experts: We Need You”

ProPublica:

Election Experts: We Need You

If you’re an expert in election administration or election law, and you’re interested in helping us cover voting during the 2018 midterms, here’s how.

Electionland is gearing up for the midterms, and we’re looking for experts in election administration and election law to be part of an expert database. We’d love to have you participate. Our goal is to ground real-time coverage of elections in fact and context — you could be a huge part of helping us achieve it.

Electionland 2016 was the largest-ever collaborative journalism project around a single event, with more than 1,000 journalists and technologists participating. We covered the voting experience on Election Day — from long lines to equipment failures to voter intimidation. We sifted through thousands of call-center records, social media posts and text messages, referring real problems to local journalists who covered the issues in real time. You can read an entire case study about it here.

We seek to do the same thing for the midterms. We’ll have election administration experts present in our newsroom all day, but they can’t do everything or speak to all local problems. So, we’re seeking to build a database of expert sources who are willing to take phone calls from local and national journalists during early voting and on Election Day. You can tell us what area your expertise is in and if you have any specific knowledge of states or counties. This will allow us to help journalists reach the right person to speak to about any problem voters may face.

We want to hear from anybody interested in working with us, but we’re especially interested in finding more conservatives with election expertise to participate. Issues around voting can be politically charged, but we don’t take sides. As journalists, we believe the only way to get the facts right are to make sure we’re talking to people from across the spectrum.

How much time will this take?

Not much! For short stories, it will involve quick phone calls with journalists. For short stories, it will involve quick phone calls with journalists. You might get more calls if lots of tips are generated in your area of expertise, and fewer if not. If you ever feel overwhelmed or would prefer to get fewer calls, you can let us know.

What information do you need from me?

Fill out this short Google form.

What do I get out of this?

Our goal is to cover election issues quickly enough for them to be fixed while people are still voting. We saw this happen in 2016, and we’re confident we’ll see it again this time around. You’ll get to be part of helping journalists responsibly cover elections with an eye toward empowering voters.

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