2020 Civic Technology Fellowship: A Year Like No Other

Phone2Action has afforded me with the incredible opportunity to be deeply involved in a historic election. Working as a Civic Technology Fellow within the Product Department throughout the past four months has provided me with invaluable experience and knowledge that I will always carry with me. 

The Mission

Phone2Action takes pride in its work, and its contribution to the democratic process. It is truly incredible that in the middle of a worldwide crisis, the presidential election has yielded the highest voter turnout in over a century. Approximately 158 million people voted in the 2020 election — that’s 20 million more people than the previous presidential election. Nearly twice as many people voted by mail in this election, with 65 million voters casting mail ballots, compared to 33.5 million in 2016. 

Phone2Action has an ambitious vision for where it wishes to be three years from today, a vision it is very much on track to accomplish. Part of Phone2Action’s future plans includes shaping how the world engages in digital advocacy and supporting the evolution of the democratic process. The fellowship program gave me the opportunity to meet and work side-by-side with smart and ambitious individuals who are highly committed to bettering the electoral process, and the work on the Civic Action Center products is a prime example. 

The 2020 Civic Action Center (CAC) was and is a one-stop-shop that provides critical election information and resources to voters all over the country. Any eligible person can use the CAC to register to vote or check their voter registration status, learn about candidates running in their district, view voting instructions & election dates, and find absentee and early voting information and deadlines. 

My Work on the Civic Action Center

Here at Phone2Action, our non-partisan stance is core to our identity, and nonpartisan GOTV efforts are paramount to the vitality of the democratic process. It is crucial that fact-based voter information is available to all voters regardless of party affiliation, in order to ensure that elected officials truly represent the will of the people.

As a recent graduate, I considered the numerous avenues available to effect long-lasting and meaningful change and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to do so by joining the Phone2Action Product Team for this election cycle. As a Civic Technology Fellow I researched, collected, and standardized voter information that was in a constant state of change. I aggregated information from official state election websites and contacted Secretaries of State to fill gaps of information that weren’t available online. My contributions to the CAC supported nearly 10 million visitors in finding their own voter information. 

Working closely with NextGen America and HeadCount on their Civic Action Centers was a particularly rewarding experience. Both of these CACs combined helped millions register to vote, check their voter registration, and/or access their voter information. 

I developed a webform to enable a more efficient feedback system between Phone2Action clients and other team members who worked on the election. And perhaps one of the most meaningful and challenging experiences from my fellowship was translating every states’ voter information — and specifically their Vote-by-Mail instructions — into Spanish.

As voting information changed, I worked to keep it up-to-date and accessible in all Civic Action Centers in two languages. This work was highly rewarding in its own right, as I strongly believe that it is essential that voter information is accessible to a diverse set of individuals.

“Phone2Action’s Civic Technology Fellowship program provides real-world experience to individuals entering the job market or transitioning between careers,” said Senior Product Manager Jason Langsner.  “Lucía Muntadas’ work as our 2020 Election Fellow was indispensable to help guarantee the accuracy and timeliness of information for hundreds of nonprofits, trade associations, and corporate clients who were providing voter education and Get Out The Vote (GOTV) services to their supporters, members, and employees.” 

A look Into My Future

Moving to Washington, DC during such a historic election and working to help educate voters and drive GOTV efforts, was an experience that I’ll always value as I continue my career.

Through my work with Phone2Action I have not only become familiar with advocacy campaigns but deepened my passion for advocacy as it relates to enforcement of the democratic process. I care deeply about generating pertinent, sustainable change and I hope to continue dedicating myself to supporting efforts and technologies that aim to promote civic engagement and a strong democracy.

Learn more about Phone2Action’s Civic Tech Fellows Program and Apprenticeship Program opportunities

About the author

Lucía Muntadas-Prim graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Management. She has experience in grassroots organizing from her time as a Strategic Outreach intern with the political engagement tech startup, ChangeRoots. Lucía applied her community engagement experience when launching a New Orleans-based fundraising campaign, Bangin’ ‘Booch, where she made and sold kombucha and donated all the proceeds to a local food bank. Lucía hopes to continue working in the digital advocacy space and supporting efforts that strengthen our democracy.

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