The Other Electorate
What the presidential election has to do with aliens and coffee cups.
By Maria Popova
The presidential election is almost upon us, and next leader of the free world is only a few million ballots away. And as important as voting is in shaping the future of the nation, its impact goes far beyond the domestic sphere. Because, after all, electing the so-called “leader of the free world” impacts the “free world” in its non-American entirety. Which is why it’s interesting to see what said “free world” would do if it had a say in the American election.
Enter If The World Could Vote, a politically independent site that lets people from all over the world cast an imaginary Obama/McCain vote in the presidential election. Originally a modest curiosity-inspired initiative by three guys from Iceland, the project has reached critical mass with close to 250,000 international votes to date, a number getting interestingly close to the U.S. population. We won’t gloat and tell you whom the overwhelming majority voted for, but you can see for yourself.
Meanwhile, let’s not forget the voiceless group most powerfully impacted by the presidential election — the nation’s 29.1 million (that’s 10% of the population, for the mathematically-challenged) home-owning, tax-paying aliens who don’t have the right to vote. (Taxation without representation, anyone?) That’s where Aliens Vote comes in — a site that gives people living in the U.S. who are not American citizens (both permanent residents and visa holders) a chance to cast a “what-if” vote for Obama, McCain, or neither.
The project comes from Cuban Council, a small American digital design shop including a number of non-America employees. Results will be revealed after the election, but if you’re anxious for an unofficial prediction, there’s always the fallback option of the infamous 7-11 predictive cups poll.
(And, of course, if you’re not content with just guessing outcomes, make sure you influence them, too: Vote.)
Published October 15, 2008