SeePolitical aims to break down the ballot for voters

first_imgUSC alumnus Nate Kaplan is educating voters this midterm election with SeePolitical, an organization he founded with the goal of creating clear and entertaining videos to explain ballot propositions for voters. On Tuesday, Kaplan expects to see the impact SeePolitical has had in the form of increased voter turnout.Get out the vote · Nate Kaplan, USC alumnus and founder of SeePolitical, created the organization with the intent of educating the voting population with nonpartisan informational videos about ballot measures. – Photo courtesy of Nate Kaplan“We’re very firm in our belief that we’ll have more educated voters at the ballot,” Kaplan said. “Studies show that the more that a population knows about an issue, the more likely they are to vote, so there’s a direct correlation there.”SeePolitical’s main goal is accessibility for all voters, which is why their videos are available in both English and Spanish. Their explanations are also very brief and are given in simple terms rather than the more complex legal language often seen in other voter guides. This simplicity, employees hope, will make viewers feel more confident in making political choices and in encouraging them to vote.“One of the biggest complaints that we hear about the ballot process is how complicated some of these issues can be, so the real added value of a project like SeePolitical is to present the information in an unbiased way but in a much more accessible way as well,” said Dan Schnur, executive director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and a SeePolitical board member.SeePolitical is not necessarily aimed at only college students and young voters, and its founders describe the service as “a voter tool for the modern lifestyle.” Employees are confident in young voters’ desire and ability to participate politically. SeePolitical wants their organization’s videos to assist them in making informed decisions.“It’s easy for older people to dismiss young people as not caring about politics, but what my time at campus has taught me is that students are not uncaring, they’re not unintelligent, but they’re very, very busy,” Schnur said. “So finding a way to engage their attention in a respectful rather than a condescending way is a really important thing to what we do.”College students are also involved behind the scenes of SeePolitical. Students from Otis College of Art and Design create the animations, and SeePolitical employees, including interns from USC, work on content.“It’s easy to be a college-aged kid and be cynical about America and politicians, but I think that the fact that we’re using college kids to help push us forward and that we have such a creative say in marketing and advertising that it’s going to reach out to a younger crowd to get involved,” said Ryan Bernstein, a SeePolitical intern and junior majoring in philosophy, politics and law.Besides educating voters about propositions, SeePolitical employees also believe that discussing the benefits of voting, such as changes in the community, can help encourage more people to vote.“Telling a young person you should vote because it’s important is not a particularly compelling argument,” Schnur said. “To tell them to vote to better public schools, to create higher paying jobs or to protect public safety is more likely to get their attention.”Multiple SeePolitical videos have been viewed more than 1,000 times, and the organization has received requests from different communities to include translations to other languages, which will happen soon, Kaplan says. The videos have also recently been featured on ABC news channels in California. The organization hopes its recent success will lead to further growth.“Our demand is growing, which we’re really happy to say,” Kaplan said. “We want to start doing it in other states next year, we want to host official candidate statements on our platform, and by 2016, we hope to be in every U.S. household.”last_img

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