To qualify our initiative for the ballot in Seattle, we need the signatures of more than 20,600 registered city voters. This means we're going to have approximately 2,000 - 3,000 pages of handwritten petition forms.
We wrote two Mechanical Turk tasks to digitally capture the names, addresses and emails of petition signers and then to have workers verify what percentage of the signers are actually registered to vote in Seattle (as only these voters count towards our ballot qualification requirements).
Paying anonymous Internet-based Mechanical Turk workers does raise some murky questions related to outsourcing vs. local employment. And, since our Initiative is aimed at re-establishing democracy and social justice, we are sensitive to this. Thus far, we've just experimented with the Turk system. We're not sure yet if we'll use it in whole. And, if we do, we're going to be very thoughtful about how much we pay for each task.
Jeff's project is "initiative 103":
Initiative 103 will change the law in Seattle to:
* Ban corporate spending on elections, reversing Citizens United
* Ban corporate lobbying except in public forums
* Strip Corporate Personhood and judge-made corporate "Constitutional" rights
Using Mechanical Turk to Digitize Handwritten Petition Forms and Validate Voter Registrations
NZ Prime Minister John Key is a racist blowhard who has smeared the opposition parties of “backing the rapists” for their support of NZ citizens with minor criminal convictions (not sexual assault, incidentally) being deported from Australia, where they have been imprisoned.
Last May, Jackie Burns, the deputy leader of the Labour Council in South Lanarkshire in Scotland, voted to close all public toilets as part of the Scottish government’s £22 million cost-cutting programme; early last Saturday morning, police issued him a £40 ticket for pissing in public. (via Reddit)
In a decision that environmental activists see as a hard-won victory, President Obama today announced he is rejecting the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The news ends a seven-year review process that was a focal point in the debate over the Obama administration’s climate policies.
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