• The Voter Project

last modified December 10, 2014 by tomlowenhaupt

An informed and engaged public is  the hallmark of a strong society. Here we sketch out The Voter Project, a civic networking effort empowered by the voter.nyc domain name-set.

An Engaged (enraged?) Voter

(Commons photo courtesy of ihorner.)

The Voter.nyc Name-Set

The domain names in the voter.nyc name-set might include the following (these might point to one page or serve different functions within the broader election process):

  • vote.nyc
  • voter.nyc
  • votes.nyc
  • voters.nyc

UK's Gordon Brown Mimics Voter Project
It's a Bandwagon!

Every citizen to have personal webpage

"Everyone in the country is to be given a personalised webpage for accessing Government services within a year as part of a plan to save billions of pounds by putting all public services online, Gordon Brown is to announce.­"  New York City can do better!

* * Civic Innovator Opportunity * *

o Want to take the lead on The

Voter Project?

o Want to meld the latest social

media with civic affairs?

Email Tom at info@connectingnyc.org.





























    The .nyc TLD will arrive in 2014 and bring with it the capacity to empower voters, neighborhoods, businesses, religious and civic organizations to better identify issues, make decisions, and organize for their resolution. The Voter Project strives to improve the city's decision making process by introducing a civic network that integrates social media with traditional civic life.

    The Voter Project imagines a civic tool chest that connects and empowers New York's 8,200,000 residents to create a more livable city.

    The Project begins by setting aside the voters.nyc name-set: vote.nyc, voter.nyc, voters.nyc and voting.nyc. Several opportunities arise from this.

    The 'My Civic Page'

    Using the syntax  www.firstname-lastname.voter.nyc, a 'civic page' would be created for each registered voter. With the voter's street address known by virtue of the traditional voter registration process, the page will be populated with pertinent local civic ­resources such as the following:

    • contact information about their local, state, and federal elected representatives
    • the location of their local voting site
    • during election periods, candidate information
    • identity and contact information for local civic groups
    • tools for submitting and tracking 311 (complaints) and 211-type inquiries
    • maps identifying local civic resources
    • matching-tools for locating like mined residents to address community opportunities and problems
    • local civic resource availability via a residents maintained local wiki
    • discussion, decision making, and collaboration tools 

      Civic Empowerment Voter Spaces

      In addition to individual voter.nyc pages, the voter name-set might assist civic life through applications such as:

      • vote.nyc - To be used for registration get out the vote campaigns.
      • votes.nyc - A repository for tabulation data and historic vote information.
      • voters.nyc - As a link for discussing issues and organizing voters. Today's social networking tools can be woven into voters.nyc to provide the following civic advantages (thanks to  Zeynep Tufekci for inspiring the following):
        • lower barriers to collective action by providing an intuitive space for discussion, decision making, and organization that are meshed with traditional social interaction;
        • create a public(ish) sphere where new ideas can be presented without traditional in-person social inhibitions;
        • help strengthen neighborhoods and communities by removing isolation, connecting people and ideas, and transforming desire into community strength, activity, and political action;
        • enable New York City and neighborhood expatriates and fans to participate in local activities;
        • provide a tool for disseminating crisis information.
      Finally, while the governance structure of the .nyc TLD remains in question, any public engagement opportunities could be facilitated through Voter Project resources.

      "YourName.voter.nyc" and Internet Governance

      A transition is underway in Internet Governance. The U.S. Government is seeking to transfer its powers to control the Internet's technology to another, as yet undetermined, party. One element of the transfer relates to ways to better engage individual Internet users (IIUs) in governance of ICANN. Today IIUs engage through the ICANN's At-Large Structures.

      It has been proposed that the IIUs play a stronger role in ICANN's governance. But objections have arisen based on cost limitations imposed by domain name ownership by registrants.: $10 per name simply excludes too many.


      We have proposed that third level domain names be issued to anyone interested in voting in ICANN governance elections as a pilot for local elections. Under development are arrangements for the technical and financial support of these elections.  


      Secure Registration

      A secure registration method will assure that only active voters sign in to their voter page. For example: registered voters will be able to request, via a web page, that an activation code be sent to their home address (in the real world). Upon activation, the virtual page would be populated with various civic resources and the voter provided secure access to her/his private civic page. Voters would use privacy controls to make all or part of their Voter Page visible to family, friends, neighbors, or the general public.

      Related Wiki Pages

      Key .nyc Pages