smartphone

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Turkey: Confusion as Turkey clocks defy time-change delay | BBC

Confused Turks are asking “what’s the time?” after automatic clocks defied a government decision to defer a seasonal hour’s change in the time.
Along with other countries, Turkey had been due to “fall back” an hour on Saturday at the end of summertime daylight saving. The Turkish government however decided to postpone the change until after upcoming polls. But some clocks have changed the time regardless – causing bewilderment. The hashtag #saatkac – or “what’s the time?” – is now trending in Turkey as Twitter users express confusion. Along with countries in the Eastern European Time (EET) zone such as Bulgaria, Lithuania and Ukraine, and countries elsewhere, Turkey had been expected to add an hour to Sunday at the end of daylight saving time.

Full Article: Confusion as Turkey clocks defy time-change delay - BBC News.

National: That buzzing in your pocket? A politician wanting your vote | The Kansas City Star

If you thought you couldn’t escape the onslaught of political ads in 2012, just wait until 2016. This election cycle, campaigns are expected to fully embrace mobile advertising as a way to target voters anytime, anywhere. For the first time, spending on political ads for digital media is expected to top $1 billion, rivaling the estimated amounts campaigns spend on telemarketing and radio, according to a report released this month by the research firm Borrell Associates. That’s still just a fraction of the total $11.4 billion Borrell estimates will be poured into political advertising in 2016. But it’s a big increase since 2012, when spending on digital political ads was just $159 million.

Full Article: That buzzing in your pocket? A politician wanting your vote | The Kansas City Star.

Minnesota: Secretary of State Simon sides with court: no need for ‘ballot selfie’ ban | Pioneer Press

It’s a distinctly 21st Century spin on an age-old practice: excited voters mark up their ballot on Election Day — then pull out a smartphone to take and a picture of their exercise in democracy and post it to social media. These so-called “ballot selfies” are also at the nexus of a legal debate as some states try to curtail the practice but a federal judge defends it. “It’s a fascinating debate,” said Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, the state’s election supervisor. “You really better have a good reason before you clamp down on political speech.” Under Minnesota law, ballot selfies are legal — though showing a ballot to someone else in the polling place is not. If a Minnesota voter shows their ballot to someone else in the polling place, the ballot is supposed to be invalidated. The voter can receive a new ballot unless the ballot display is judged to be “clearly intentional.”

Full Article: SOS Simon sides with court: no need for 'ballot selfie' ban - The Political Animal.

National: Texting Comes of Age as a Political Messenger | The New York Times

Even a presidential candidate’s most devoted supporters could be forgiven for trying to tune out the torrent of campaign emails, Twitter messages, Facebook posts, Instagrams and Snapchats that steadily flood voters’ inboxes and social-media feeds in this digitized, pixelated, endlessly streaming election cycle. But a text message is different. A text message — despite its no-frills, retro essence — is something personal. Something invasive. Something almost guaranteed to be read. So last month, when Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont staged what his aides called the most important night of his three-month-old campaign for the Democratic nomination — cramming 100,000 of his followers into house parties from coast to coast, to whip them into foot soldiers — he did not solicit email addresses or corral the attendees into a special Facebook group. Instead, his digital organizing director, Claire Sandberg, asked each participant to send a quick text establishing contact with the campaign.

Full Article: Texting Comes of Age as a Political Messenger - The New York Times.

Colorado: Smartphone voting isn’t ready | The Durango Herald

Technology isn’t yet ready to allow voting on your smartphone, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said Tuesday during a visit to Durango. “Right now, the technology isn’t sufficiently secure for that,” he said during an interview with The Durango Herald’s editorial board. In commercial applications, Williams said, “There are security breaches occasionally. We’re just not there yet.”

Full Article: The Durango Herald 06/09/2015 | Smartphone voting isn’t ready.

National: The next political battleground: Your phone | CNN

There’s a new political battleground in 2016: your phone. Next year’s election presents a new opportunity for politicians to harness a slew of technologies — from video to demographic data — that will help them reach voters. The drive toward connecting with potential voters on their smartphones is playing out, in part, because so many people have one this election cycle. About two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone today, compared with just 35% in the spring of 2011, according to the Pew Research Center. For about 10% of Americans, their smartphone is the only form of high-speed Internet they have access to at home.

Full Article: The next political battleground: Your phone - CNNPolitics.com.

Nigeria: Smartphones Galvanized Nigeria’s Younger Voters | VoA News

Of the more than 175 million people who live in Nigeria, 70 percent of them are young. And among those millions are more than 125 million mobile phone subscribers, the largest such market in Africa. So, as Nigeria turned to a crucial national election last month, a group of political activists selected a smartphone application might galvanize a few million of those citizens and guarantee a free and fair election in a nation not known for its transparency. Yemi Adamolekun is one of those who tapped that demographic with technology. Dressed in T-shirt and a trousers of Ankara fabric, Adamolekun walked briskly into Terra Kulture, a bookstore located in the high-brow area in Lagos State. Her simple clothing style and a natural hairdo underscore her no-nonsense approach to national affairs.

Full Article: Smartphones Galvanized Nigeria’s Younger Voters.

Virginia: Hacked Touchscreen Voting Machine Raises Questions About Election Security | NPR

Computer security experts have warned for years that some voting machines are vulnerable to attack. And this week, in Virginia, the state Board of Elections decided to impose an immediate ban on touchscreen voting machines used in 20 percent of the state’s precincts, because of newly discovered security concerns. The problems emerged on Election Day last November in Spotsylvania County. The AVS WINVote touchscreen machines used in precinct 302 began to shut down. “One machine would go and crash. They’d bring it back up. Another one would crash,” said Edgardo Cortes, the state’s elections commissioner. “Starting in the early afternoon, they brought in a piece of replacement equipment that experienced the same issues when they set it up in the precinct.” Cortes added that elections workers had a theory about what had caused the problem. “There was some interference,” he said, “potentially from a wireless signal from an election officer [who] was streaming music on their phone.”

Full Article: Hacked Touchscreen Voting Machine Raises Questions About Election Security : It's All Politics : NPR.

National: The Mobile Election: How smartphones will change the 2016 presidential race | Politico

Four years ago today, President Barack Obama was gearing up to announce his reelection campaign, Mitt Romney was leading Newt Gingrich in the polls, and roughly one out of every three American adults owned a smartphone. You read that right: In the spring of 2011, just 35 percent of American adults owned a smartphone, according to Pew Research. The Internet and social media may have been changing politics in myriad ways, but news consumption was mostly a sedentary experience. Today, as Hillary Clinton prepares for the formal launch of her campaign, and as Jeb Bush and Scott Walker are neck and neck in the polls, roughly two out of every three American adults, or 64 percent, own a smartphone, according to a new report from Pew. The new mobile reality is changing the state of news and advertising, and it will also change the dynamic of American politics — especially during the 2016 campaign season, journalists and political operatives said.

Full Article: The Mobile Election: How smartphones will change the 2016 presidential race - POLITICO.com.

Taiwan: Smartphones Vs. Politicians In Taiwan Vote Buying Game: See Who’s Ahead | Forbes

A guy running for head of a borough in Taipei gave me a sack of napkins even though I’m a foreigner without voting rights. Had I attended his rally in the park that day, I could have scored a free minced pork bun. Another candidate in the neighborhood gave away wooden back scratchers. These people are frugal. In the southern city Tainan, a candidate was passing out women’s cosmetic kits. News reports cite banquets, discounted air tickets and cash handouts. The potential booty is boundless with 19,762 people running for borough heads, city councils, mayoral posts and their county-level equivalents in most of Taiwan. It’s expected to grow next week in the final approach to elections Nov. 29. Vote-buying has long fit as snugly into Taiwan’s colorful, volatile politics as campaign banners and rallies. The China-friendly Nationalists and their opponents, who are less keen on tie-ups with old foe Beijing, need whatever they can get to win the island’s notoriously close elections.

Full Article: Smartphones Vs. Politicians In Taiwan Vote Buying Game: See Who's Ahead.

Argentina: Designing an Operating System for Democracy | Michael Scaturro/The Atlantic

Pia Mancini is the photogenic leader of Argentina’s Net Party, which she co-founded in May 2012 and runs on her MacBook Air—from airplane lounges, conferences in Europe, government ministries, and sometimes an office that her group shares in a Buenos Aires district known for its television studios. As telenovela stars arrive in jeeps and crews unload props from double-parked trucks nearby, Mancini and her colleagues type away next to their officemates, a group of young architects. From this office, which could easily be in Berlin or Berkeley or Beijing, Mancini and co. have created DemocracyOS, an open-source platform for voting and political debate that political parties and governments can download, install, and repurpose much like WordPress blogging software. The platform, which is web-based but also works on smartphone browsers, was conceived as a tool to get young Argentines involved in city governance. But it has since spread as far as Tunisia, where activists turned to the software earlier this year after their own efforts to develop an online forum for debating a draft constitution had failed. “People in Tunisia just found DemocracyOS online,” Mancini explained. “We learned that they were using it through a Transparency International news article.”

Full Article: Designing an Operating System for Democracy - Michael Scaturro - The Atlantic.

Michigan: Detroit to offer absentee ballot requests through smartphones | The Detroit News

City voters can now request an absentee ballot through their smartphones, an initiative called “historic” Tuesday by the Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Lon Johnson and City Clerk Janice Winfrey. Detroit will now begin accepting such absentee ballot requests. Similar efforts in about three other municipalities will be unveiled next week, Johnson said. These localities in Michigan will join Arizona, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois and some municipalities in California that allow absentee ballots to be requested online. Other states such as Alaska, Georgia and Wisconsin allow voters to make requests via email, Johnson said.

Full Article: Detroit to offer absentee ballot requests through smartphones | The Detroit News.

Voting Blogs: States, counties, NGOs roll out more technology to help voters | electionlineWeekly

With the primary season in full swing, it has been a busy spring for state and local elections offices in their efforts to make voting/registering easier for citizens. Like the trees and flowers coming into season, new websites and mobile apps have been blooming from coast to coast. For some a lot of this may be old hat, but it’s important to take notice of these new apps/sites to highlight the progress being made in the elections field; and to encourage others who may late bloomers to get the ball rolling with their own tech improvements. What follows is a snapshot of what some counties, states and voter advocacy organizations have done lately to make voting and/or registering to vote easier. In Connecticut, Secretary of State Denise Merrill recently announced that a mobile app for the state’s new online voter registration system is available. The app — for smartphone or tablet — is available through Google Play and Apple. Since OVR launched in February, more than 2,000 Connecticut residents have registered to vote or updated their registration. Merrill hopes the new app will increase those numbers.

Full Article: electionlineWeekly.

National: FEC Deadlocks Again over Disclaimers on Mobile Phone Advertisements, with No Resolution in Sight | In the Arena

The irresistible force met the immovable object Thursday, as the Federal Election Commission deadlocked again on whether disclaimer requirements applied to advertisements displayed through new technologies.  The deadlock left no clear path toward a common understanding of the disclaimer requirements, with the Democratic-selected Commissioners contending that the law permits no exception for mobile phone ads, and the Republican Commissioners contending that applying the requirements would violate the law and burden speech. Advisory Opinion Request 2013-18, submitted by Revolution Messaging LLC, dealt with so-called “banner advertisements” appearing at the bottom of a smartphone screen. (Revolution Messaging LLC  is a political consulting firm that crafts and places digital advertisements for Democrats and progressives.) Commission regulations apply the disclaimer requirements generally to public communications, including Internet communications that are placed for a fee.  But they contain exceptions  for “small items,” and for advertisements where “inclusion of a disclaimer would be impracticable.”

Full Article: FEC Deadlocks Again over Disclaimers on Mobile Phone Advertisements, with No Resolution in Sight | In the Arena: Law and Politics Update.

Japan: Gloves off: Japan’s upper-house election | The Economist

As the orange van cruises central Tokyo, Kan Suzuki, a politician from the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), scours the street for voters. Leaning from the window, he blares out his name through the van’s loudspeakers, and a team of white-gloved ladies known as uguisu-jo, or warbler girls, echoes him, waving starchily at a lone pensioner. Then Mr Suzuki retreats inside, to his iPad. For the first time in Japan, the law now allows him to update his home page during an election campaign. For years the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), in office until 2009 and again from late last year, resisted changing outdated laws banning digital campaigning. Its older politicians had not a clue about social media. Others feared negative smear campaigns or worried that a Barack Obama-inspired internet machine could hand victories to the more technically minded DPJ. Until this election campaign—for the upper house of the Diet, where half of the seats are up for grabs on July 21st—all online activity had to freeze just when candidates most wanted to reach voters.

Full Article: Japan’s upper-house election: Gloves off | The Economist.

Japan: Prime Minister Abe hops and flips in voter-wooing game | Stuff.co.nz

It’s a bird, it’s a plane … It’s a cartoon version of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, hopping and somersaulting his way through the sky in a smartphone game app his party hopes will lure young voters ahead of a July 21 election. A growing number of Japanese politicians are venturing into the cyber world after a legal change allowed the use of social media in campaigns, setting up Facebook pages and twitter accounts to woo voters before a July upper house election. But the app, which has the imprimatur of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), goes further in its effort to court tech-savvy youngsters, who tend to be apathetic about politics and put off by traditional campaigns featuring white-gloved politicians blaring their names and slogans over loudspeakers.

Full Article: Japan PM Abe hops and flips in voter-wooing game... | Stuff.co.nz.

Wisconsin: Residents no longer need to show papers – State accepts electronic documents for same-day registration | electionlineWeekly

While many elections officials across the country are concerned about the U.S. Postal Service’s ability to stay afloat because of the impact it may have on vote-by-mail and absentee voting, elections officials in Wisconsin are faced with another dilemma from the slow death of the mail. No one mails anything anymore — including identifying documents like utility bills. Faced with a growing number of people who receive and pay their bills exclusively online, recently, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board ruled that residents wishing to register to vote at the polls on election day may provide a poll worker with an electronic proof-of-residency via their smartphone. “I can’t see the difference between being shown a screen with an identifying document or being shown a piece of paper,”said Judge Thomas Cane, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “I think we’ve got to bring ourselves up to date.” Staff of the GAB recommended that the board not implement the use of electronic documents, but it wasn’t because they disagree with the practice, it was all about timing. “The staff supported the concept because there is no difference in the information that must be presented or recorded,” explained Kevin Kennedy, director of the GAB. “However, we wanted to get enough input from local election officials before instituting the change. “

Full Article: electionlineWeekly.

National: Voting Rights Advocates Gear Up For 2012 Election | TPM

Two blocks from the White House, in a conference room on the fourth floor of a nondescript office building, voting rights advocates are fighting on the front line of the voting wars. Welcome to the headquarters of Election Protection, a program run by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and a multitude of civil rights organizations that seeks to combat the wave of restrictive voting laws that have swept state legislatures in the past few years. “I was here in 2000 when the debacle happened in Florida. That really led to civil rights groups coming together and saying we have to have a paradigm shift in the way that we view elections,” Barbara R. Arnwine, President & Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law told TPM in an interview at their office, which doubles as headquarters for the Election Protection’s hotline number.

Full Article: Voting Rights Advocates Gear Up For 2012 Election | TPMMuckraker.

National: Civil Rights Groups Release New Voter Protection App | Huffington Post

Defenders of the right to vote have a new high-tech weapon in their arsenal. A consortium of civil rights groups unveiled a smartphone application Thursday as part of a comprehensive strategy to combat what it called a nationwide effort to disenfranchise minority and youth voters. “The Election Protection smartphone app is a dynamic tool that will educate voters on their rights and empower them to take action so they can vote,” said Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, on a Thursday conference call with other organizations that developed the app. The free app is a “critical tool in our fight against voter suppression,” Arwine said, referring to recent state voter identification laws that aroused concerns among civil rights advocates. The tool gives voters the ability to digitally verify their registration status, find their polling place, encourage their friends and family to vote, fill out voter registration forms, and contact election protection officials, amongst other means to encourage voting.

Full Article: Civil Rights Groups Release New Voter Protection App.

National: Obama Campaign App Raises Privacy Concerns | CBS DC

A new app released by President Obama’s campaign team has raised privacy fears. The free Obama for America app – which can be downloaded for the iPhone and Android – gives users the first name, last initial, gender and addresses of registered Democrats. “Sign up to canvass—then get started right away with a list of voters in your neighborhood. Access scripts and enter feedback and responses in real time as you go,” the campaign states on its website. The app has raised the ire of privacy advocates. “It doesn’t make it right just because it’s legal,” Shaun Dakin, CEO and founder of The National Political Do Not Contact Registry, told The Washington Post. “Anybody can get this. There’s no way to prevent anyone from downloading this.” Justin Brookman, a consumer privacy expert at the Center for Democracy and Technology, told Reuters that people with bad intentions can easily access the app. “The concern is making it available to people who may have bad intent and that fear could deter people from giving money,” Brookman explained to Reuters.

Full Article: Obama Campaign App Raises Privacy Concerns « CBS DC.