There are many things technology can do these days, but even die-hard technology fans would admit that one of the things it certainly can't do is win elections. Still, take a look at the way the 2008 United States presidential election is being fought, and it's clear that technology has nevertheless emerged as a significant tool for campaigning - despite its demonstrated limitations in ensuring democracy.
To get a feel of how technology is influencing politics in the run-up to the November elections, visit the virtual networks of MyBarackObama.com and McCain Space. While Obama and John McCain might have few things in common politically, both presidential hopefuls are leaning heavily on technology for executing their policies and organizing their campaigns, which includes fundraising, networking with supporters and taking measures for remaining compliant.
Chicago-headquartered ElectionMall Technologies is helping Obama, McCain, and many other state and local candidates who are running for office this year. ElectionMall touts itself as the only company in the world offering technology products and services tailored to campaigns and elections.
"Politicians do not always know what they really need," said Ravi Singh, the company's CEO and co-founder. "In every election there are different campaigns and every campaign has different needs. We give them the latest business technology that they need in order to win. We give them business know-how that allows them to run a successful campaign."
According to Singh, the 2008 campaign season is unique in the sense that for the first time, major candidates have secured million of dollars and built grassroots support using software technologies. This has been made possible by the growing accessibility to broadband technology.
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