This semester, digital voter education platform SeePolitical has partnered with Otis College of Art in Design in creating an exciting new senior Liberal Arts and Sciences capstone class based around civic engagement. Taught by faculty member Terry Saunders, 12 digital media students have spent the last two months researching four of the six ballot initiatives (1, 45, 46, and 47) for the November ballot. This was done in partnership with the University of Southern California's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. USC provided political science interns who went through the language in the ballot measures and boiled it down to palatable terms. Then the language was reviewed by the SeePolitical board, which includes a diverse range of experts in a variety of fields.
In addition to learning about the issues in California’s ballot propositions this November, students contributed their talents toward animating videos deconstructing those four propositions. The videos are being televised exclusively on ABC channels in Los Angeles, Fresno/Central Valley, Sacramento, and San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose as well as Univision Local Media stations up and down the state in English and Spanish until Election Day. SeePolitical’s animated shorts help voters quickly and easily understand what a “Yes” or “No” vote will mean.
“KABC-TV is proud to partner in providing our community this unique service, using the power of our stations on-air, on-line, and in social media to better inform voters,” says ABC President and General Manager, Arnie Kleiner. SeePolitical founder Nate Kaplan adds, “Our partnership with ABC stations in California’s largest media markets and Univision Local Media will help ensure that every household in California can make informed decisions on the ballot propositions this November.”
A seasoned political veteran, Kaplan created SeePolitical after observing that even experienced lawmakers were challenged to understand the convoluted language of ballot propositions. If politicians were unable to make sense of these props, how could voters hope to educate themselves to make informed decisions in the ballot booth? “SeePolitical will give you clarity on what you’re voting on, so your vote counts,” Kaplan explains.
“We have a social responsibility as a media outlet to inform our community on the ballot measures they will face this coming November 4,” said Alberto Mier y Terán, Executive Vice President of Univision Local Media. “Univision Local Media is proud to partner with SeePolitical and ABC to educate our community on these measures, so they can be empowered to make informed decisions and have a voice on the issues that will affect them and their families.”
SeePolitical first launched in June 2014, featuring video content explaining the two ballot measures in the California primary election in concise sound-bites that saved voters time and headaches, allowing them to re-engage in the democratic process. Partnerships with ABC stations in California and Univision Local Media are the first step in expanding SeePolitical’s reach. Kaplan is in the process of expanding the brand to cover local and state elections across the country.
Stations KFSN-TV, KGO-TV, KABC-TV and KXTV-TV will air the English versions of the videos, while KMEX-TV, KDTV-TV, KUVS-TV, KFTV-TV, KUVI-TV and KBNT-TV will air the Spanish versions. The networks join the League of Women Voters of California Voter’s Education Fund as well as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson in endorsing the non-partisan voter education tool.