Don’t vote blindly! – civic monitoring of candidates running in local elections.

What problem are you solving?:

Project „Don’t vote blindly” is an answer to several problems: a need for spreading knowledge about elections and candidates running for positions in the local government, a need for information about self-government institutions, and finally – a need for promoting active participation of citizens in public life.
According to research carried out by Public Opinion Research Center in 2006, one month before elections, only half of citizens who declared interest in elections knew who they would be voting for. Statement “I don’t know who to vote for” is the most common reason for voter absetneeism. Lack of knowledge about the candidates stems from non-meritorical campaigns and – on the part of candidates – lack of motivation to discuss voters needs related to their local issues. To adress this problem, preceding the local elections in 2010, Association 61 wants to launch a website

Describe your idea:

Our goal for the local elections in 2010 is creating a mechanism of communication between candidates and voters, which will motivate: candidates to increase their meritorical engagement in campaigns; voters to become more aware and proactive while deciding who to vote for.
The internet tool, created by us, as well as the Questionnaire of Experience and Election Promises is meant to present candidates’ profiles (their views, work experience, reasons for running in local elections and contact) and increase the transparency of the public sector.
As a civic initiative tool, it is aimed at creating a sense of community and fostering a discussion about local issues (every municipality has its own needs, and its dwellers want to choose councillors, who will be best suited to adress those needs). Voters, media, the NGOs will be able to use the issues raised by the questionnaire in local pre-election debates. Our website will also function as an information portal about elections.

What country will this operate in?: Poland

Who are you?:

Association 61 is an independent and apolitical non-governmental organization. We would like to mobilize civic activity by means of the internet and thus persuade Poles to take an active part in their country’s democratic processes and mechanisms. By means of an independent information website, we want to increase Polish voters’ knowledge about their representatives and the rights they posses in citizen-state relations. We want to persuade them to take an active part in public life by means of verifying politicians’ views, actions and electoral promises as well as initiating civic debate.
The purpose of activities conducted by Association 61 is to create a transparent system of publicly available information on people serving elective public functions in Poland.