What is Electionland?
Electionland is a collaborative journalism project that will cover voting access, cybersecurity and election integrity in the midterm elections. Rather than covering the race and the results, Electionland’s goal is to document, nationally and in real time, voting impediments such as long lines, harassment at the polls, changed voting locations, provisional ballot use, voter ID issues, ballot design problems and vote disruption caused by hacking.
Who can sign up?
Any newsroom can apply to be part of Electionland. We’re looking for newsrooms — especially local newsrooms — that will be dedicating resources to covering voting problems, including cyber security of voting infrastructure, election administration, misinformation, long lines, voting equipment, etc.
TV, radio, online and print reporters are all encouraged to apply. Freelancers need to have a relationship with a local outlet where their stories can appear.
Does it sound like you or your organization? Tell us about your plans to cover the election here and we will follow up with you.
What do participants get?
In time for early voting, participants will get access to:
- Real-time alerts about problems happening at polling locations in your coverage area, including long lines, machine breakdowns, an uptick in provisional balloting, ballot confusion, fraudulent voting and more.
- Data about how elections are run in their counties, including details on voter registration, turnout and absentee balloting. Access to a library of reporting recipes, tip sheets, and community calls.
- Training about covering election administration, how to understand things like long-lines data and election administration surveys and how to understand election cybersecurity.
- Customized access to the Facebook Political Ad Collector tool, which monitors the political ads seen in the Facebook feeds of thousands of volunteer users.
- Access to a private Slack group, where participants will compare notes, share tips, and collaborate on cross-newsroom stories.
- Customizable alerts for real-time data about the candidates and races you care about, drawing on federal campaign finance data, congressional voting data, trending searches, and more.
- Inclusion and promotion of your election stories on Electionland web and social media platforms.
What kind of data will I have access to?
We’ll gather tips from voters through web forms, text messages and a WhatsApp number. We will also get data from from a call center run by the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which receives calls from thousands of voters around the country. We’ll also have data from social media and from Google search trends.
Will I get this exclusively?
No. We can’t offer regional or local exclusives on data or on tips, but we will not require you to share back your reporting before you publish or broadcast it. That said, you are likely to meet reporters who are interested in the same topic or working on similar stories and we’ll encourage you (but won’t require) to work together.
What are participants expected to do?
As a participating partner organization, we’ll expect you to provide us with the contact information of the reporter assigned to cover voting problems during the election, as well as the assigning editor with election responsibilities. If your state has in-person early voting, we need good contacts for all of early voting, not just on Nov. 6. We’ll send solid leads for you to follow up on and report. When you follow up, you agree to send us a URL when you’ve published. You will credit “ProPublica’s Electionland Project” as the source of your tip and link that credit to propublica.org/electionland.
We’ll also expect you to promote your participation in the Electionland project with your audience both on your main publishing outlet (e.g., broadcast or print) including posting a web call-out and a text number (provided by ProPublica) where the audience will be able to send tips about problems they experience at the polls.
What does it cost?