Civic participation is critical to the health and legitimacy of our democracy, and our election process, public hearings and town hall meetings are among the most direct and regular opportunities for interaction between our government and its citizens. That is why we have issued a Public Notice (PN) specifically requesting your comments, data and analysis regarding how we can bring our democratic processes into the digital age.
- Registering to vote: How can broadband help to facilitate voter registration? For example, in Texas, Travis County’s Tax Office has implemented an Internet-based application that allows citizens to register to vote in just minutes over the Internet. What can we learn from what states and local governments like Travis County, Texas have done in this area?
- Processes leading up to Election Day: There are many steps that come before the election polls open and close where broadband and online services can increase civic participation. Where have these been implemented? What lessons can we learn?
- Voting: Voting is the most fundamental of civic acts. As technology transforms all aspects of society, could it transform voting as well? Some states and pilot projects have taken steps to enable secure online voting for our brave men and women fighting overseas to ensure that they are not required to give up their right to vote as a condition to defending our country. For example, Arizona enables our brave military men and women overseas to vote online by uploading completed ballots to the Arizona Secretary of State’s website. What can we learn from Arizona as well as other state and local governments and other groups looking at this important issue?
- Online Government Hearings and Online Town Hall Meetings: The proliferation of Internet-based tools and high speed technologies enable high quality video and new venues for civic participation. Can we apply these technologies to government hearings and online town hall meetings? What examples do we have of integrating new technologies to enable citizens to better engage their government?