CommonWealth Bellwether project taps into voter psyche

CommonWealth magazine announced today it is embarking on an experiment in online direct democracy to capture voter attitudes during a pivotal election year.  The experiment will focus on Milford, Massachusetts, and will involve a website where citizens can go to discuss the issues affecting their town.  Milford residents, politicians and media can propose issues for discussion, ask and answer policy questions, and even vote on specific questions.  CommonWealth will also participate in the discussion in an attempt to learn what is on the minds of Milford voters beginning with the election season and culminating on inauguration day.

Milford was chosen as the focus of the project due to its history as a bellwether of Massachusetts, having voted for the winner of the every gubernatorial race since 1990, and also during Scott Brown’s stunning upset over Attorney General Martha Coakley earlier this year.  Milford’s issues are the Commonwealth’s issues: education, zoning and immigration are all hot button issues locally, statewide and even nationally.

The Bellwether project is being funded by a grant from The Boston Foundation and the James L. and John S. Knight Foundations. The website where Milford voters can share their thoughts was created by a Boston startup called Localocracy.  Learn more about the project.

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