Election season can be very overwhelming. We’re flooded on a day-to-day basis with deceptive political ads, telephone calls and literature; it can be difficult to decipher who the right candidate is for us and where they stand. Microsoft and Mic (a leading news and media company for young people) understand voters frustrations and have teamed up to make the elections more personal with Bing Elections. With Election day just a week away (November 4th), Mic co-founder and CEO, Chris Altchek joined me for an interview recently to discuss the elections and how voters can be more informed in less time with Bing Elections.
Candace Rose: Election season can be very overwhelming, what can voters do to be more informed in less time?
Chris Altchek: Mic is a new site for the next generation. We focus on creating thoughtful, entertaining and high quality news about the stories that matter for young people. We’ve partnered with Microsoft on a tool called Bing My Elections, which is allowing voters to figure out what races are happening in their local, state and senate races, figure out who the candidates are and where they stand.”
Candace Rose: In 2010 only 38% of eligible voters voted in the election. Why do you think this was, and what can be changed to increase voter turnout this year?
Chris Altchek: “That’s a great question. We saw in 2008 and 2012, much higher voter turnout. In the midterms we’ve had much lower voter turnout. That’s what we believe is primarily driven by lack of information on the candidates, on the races and on the issues.
With Microsoft we’ve partnered to make the information really clear, nonpartisan, data driven, so you can figure out who the candidates really are and where they stand on the issues. We’ve personalized it and localized it, so when you go to the site on your tablet or your phone or your computer, it automatically pulls the race that’s in your state or your district and makes it as easy as possible to get the information you need as quickly as possible.”
Candace Rose: Is there anything else we can do to be more informed for the elections?
Chris Altchek: “Make sure you’re registered to vote. In the top righthand corner of the tool you’ll find information on how to register and then make sure you show up on Election Day. If you pick the candidates that fall within the issues you care about, you’re in good shape and you’re doing a real service to your country and your community.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Chris Altchek: “Just check out the tool, it’s Bing.com/Elections. If you want to read more about it, you can also see it on Mic.com. We’re really encouraging people to get informed. The elections are only a week away, so now is the time.”