Voter Education through Network Analytics

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In “normal” times, the process of voting can be confusing enough for many Americans -- from whether and where they’re registered, to absentee v. early v. mail-in voting, to what actually happens at the polls. The 2020 election has seen this confusion soar, with pandemic scrambling the process at the national, state and local levels. 

To lessen this confusion (and the associated misinformation that ensues) LSM has launched a voter education project aimed at addressing the following question: Can we impact exposure to reliable information through influencer interventions?

In the manner of LSM’s BeatTheVirus project, LSM will apply network analytics to 1] identify communities on Twitter who are underexposed to voting information and 2] inform the development and distribution of voter education messaging to these audiences through social media influencers.

Core elements of the system include:

  • Map: Use Twitter to find and map “interest communities” based on patterns of followership.  
  • Track: Track the exposure to voting-related content -- specifically hashtags, links and phrases -- within each of these Twitter communities. 
  • Measure: For every instance that an influencer tweets a voter education message, measure increased exposure across every community they are associated with in the system. 
  • Target: Identify for each community, through these same followership analytics, social media influencers specific to that community.
  • Message: Voter ed organizations can use these analytics to invite influencers to tweet voter education messaging to their audiences that are then measured for impact in our system.