What do folks do at civic hackathons? Most of us are trying to make democracy better by giving of the skills we have. Faye Anderson just brought me this great example from a Random Hacks of Kindness event earlier this month (be sure to check out the call to action and then get in touch with Faye if you can help):
"The Cost of Freedom Project is a citizen-led initiative that is developing a location-based web app to provide voters with information on how to apply for a voter ID. A prototype for the Cost of Freedom App was developed at the Random Hacks of Kindness hackathon at Drexel University.
In 2008, only two states required voters to show a government-issued photo ID in order to vote. Since then, six states have changed their voting laws to require a photo ID. Civil rights groups are challenging photo ID laws at the Justice Department and in the courts. But with the election less than 11 months away, voters need help right now.
There are millions of voters without an official photo ID who cannot wait until October to tune into the election. They must act now to ensure they have the documents they have to produce to establish their identity.
The Cost of Freedom Project needs help gathering data for the eight states that require an official photo ID – Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. (By February, Michigan and Pennsylvania may be added to the list.)
The data includes where a voter in, say, Memphis who was born in Memphis, would go to obtain a copy of his or her birth certificate and how to get there using public transportation.
We are a mobile society so a voter now living in Memphis may have been born in New Jersey, where it could take as long as ten weeks to get a certified copy of a birth certificate. So we will need data on how to obtain a birth certificate for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
We need web designers. We need bloggers to help spread the message: No photo, no vote. In short, we need every citizen to get informed about photo ID requirements and inform their friends, family and neighbors.
The data gathered by the Cost of Freedom Project will help tell the underreported story of the high cost of a free voter ID."