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Technology and 21st century elections

Election2012Cloud small

Negative ads. Political mud-slinging. Character attacks by supporters of various candidates. Dirty tricks. Personal insults. Outrageous newspaper editorials. Predictions of national collapse and disunity.

Yeah. Elections can be rough. Imagine if it was this bad in 2012, rather than the election of 1800. John Adams was running for re-election against the challenger Thomas Jefferson. And it was not pretty. But the election of 1800 is interesting not so much for its ugly of its temperament or even the change in the Constitution that it caused.

It’s interesting to me because this was one of the first elections in which new technology, the use of newspapers as a part of the campaign process, became widespread.

And while the mudslinging hasn’t really changed that much, the technology has. It’s a different world than Jefferson’s – one full of social media, internet ads, Twitter, texting, email / online campaign contributions, and instant video are creating a different sort of election process. The infographic below highlights some of these changes.

Don’t forget to vote!

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