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November 17, 2017
Political education Data weapons

Building Black Political Power in the Age of Big Data

In 2012, for the first time in American history, Black people had the highest rate of voter turnout of any racial or ethnic group. And advances in data and technology have created new opportunities to expand the political power of Black people and hold institutions accountable. SMS technology has demonstrated tremendous potential to turnout Black voters, and automatic voter registration is gaining momentum across the country. Meanwhile, groups of mathematicians and lawyers are developing innovative new metrics for gerrymandering to hold legislators accountable.

And yet 2.2 million Black voters are missing from the political process. These are men and women who have been denied the right to vote because of past criminal convictions. This number does not include the millions of Black people nationwide who never make it to the polls. A complex web of laws, tactics, and practices – from voter ID laws and gerrymandering to “crosscheck” and voter intimidation – have eroded the most fundamental right of citizenship in Black communities across the country. T his panel will explore areas where scientists and organizers can work together to protect this fundamental right.

Moderator: Rahsaan Hall

Participants: Marc Elias, Leah Aden, Moon Duchin, and Ejike Obineme