- Ms. Cleaver of Vote.org said she worried that this was a blind spot typical of Silicon Valley, an industry dominated by male engineers who are generally from privileged backgrounds. “Everyone wants the solution to increasing voter turnout to be an app, but turnout is low in this country because of decades of racism, sexism and voter suppression,” she said.
Ms. Cleaver, a self-described “tech person” who is backed by the start-up accelerator Y Combinator, urged me to write about anything other than these apps. She proposed an article about the perils of voter registration still being tied to the Department of Motor Vehicles when a growing number of young people don’t have driver’s licenses. Or what about the problem with mail-in ballots that require a signature when young people don’t know cursive? Don’t even get her started on new voters being required to print forms. (“I mean, who owns a printer?”)
She said that the tech industry, once hailed as a savior, is undergoing an identity crisis for good reason. “The logical conclusion of technology is that it all goes terribly awry,” she said. For the 2020 election, her group, Vote.org, plans to spend millions of dollars on billboards.