Election Day Monitoring Sees Lockdowns, Outages, And Cultural Issues

Nov 18, 2016

Before Election Day, we talked with a University of Oregon journalism professor on the “Electionland” project, where social media reports on voter issues were checked and verified in real time.  KLCC's Brian Bull has this follow-up. 

Multilingual "VOTE" sign in California, one of the West Coast areas the U of O journalism students monitored on Election Day.
Credit Flickr.com's hjl

All Election Day long, 90 of Damian Radcliffe’s students scanned tweets, Facebook posts, and other reports of voter problems along the West Coast.

Radcliffe shares some highlights.

“One of the most dramatic, traumatic things that happened was a live shooter incident in Los Angeles," he begins.  "At least one polling station was put on lockdown.  We heard that a mobile voting unit had been dispatched because a polling station had a power outage, turned out that a dump truck had driven into a power generator. 

"And a tweet complained that a polling station in Koreatown in Los Angeles, said “There were five officials here, and not one of them speaks Korean.” 

Damian Radcliffe with Electionland shirt.
Credit Brian Bull

Electionland partners included 13 journalism schools, NPR, Gannett Newspapers, and Propublica.  Radcliffe expects a formal debrief soon, but isn’t sure when.

“I think we’re still recovering from the election!” laughs Radcliffe. 

Future projects may include Donald Trump’s inauguration, or the midterm elections in 2018.