Mike Switzer Helps Launch Voter Education/Citizen Participation Web Site, Voterheads.com
Voterheads.com Launches New Website Aimed at Local Citizens
Columbia SC City Council unanimously endorses project. Richland County Council Presentation Scheduled.
Columbia, SC February 13, 2012: In mid-January, the Columbia City Council passed an official resolution endorsing a local voter education/citizen participation project known as Voterheads.com, a Columbia, SC-based initiative. Karl McCollester, Voterheads CEO, announced today that he has also been invited to present at the Richland County Council meeting scheduled for February 21, 2012. “Our goal”, McCollester says, “is to be participating with all of the elected bodies in the Midlands of South Carolina within the next 60 days. Then, when we prove our concept works here, the entire state and nation, are next!”
Voterheads seeks to bring an easy, user-friendly way for people to participate in local, statewide, and national politics, through more educated "official" voting at the ballot box and by becoming involved in "voting" on agenda items at local school board, and city/county meetings. The website will allow someone to simply enter their zip code (or to get even more specific info, a street address) and see their next ballot with each item on the ballot having links to additional info such as news, blogs, candidates' web sites, etc.
When election time is done, Voterheads helps citizens stay informed by providing a consolidated view of all actions taking place at city, county, and school board meetings. A user can also be notified anytime a local meeting agenda has been released that contains any item that matches their interests or is affecting a location near their home or work. For example, if someone is a cyclist and the Town or County where they live has an upcoming vote regarding bicycle paths, the user will know about it and be offered the opportunity to cast their own "vote" in favor or against (including adding comments), which their local elected officials will be able to see. The user will also be able post the item to Facebook or other social networks, in order to leverage the power of friends, family, and neighbors to bring about change.
Voterheads will also keep a running tally for users, showing how an elected official voted versus how they "voted" on items of interest. McCollester adds, “We expect that our features will be particularly attractive to groups seeking assistance in persuading their elected officials to be more aware of certain ‘hot button’ issues. We believe organizations like a local watershed alliance, for example, to become early users of the tools available at Voterheads.com”.
Elected officials will also find this valuable because they will have an organized, user-friendly way to see how their constituents feel, and the data will also be broken down (anonymously, of course) by whether the "voters" are in their precinct, locale, or otherwise. Voterheads also plans on delivering mobile “apps” to its users so all the information can be accessed in a user-friendly way with cell phones and tablets.
Interested citizens and elected officials can sign up now to receive notifications of the project’s progress at www.voterheads.com. Mike Switzer, host of the SC Business Review on South Carolina's eight NPR affiliated radio stations, is a co-founder and chair of the board of directors of Voterheads.