Who? Ann Arbor Votes is operated by Sam Firke. See the disclaimer section below for more.
What? For now, Ann Arbor Votes is simply a Twitter account that tweets reminders to vote at registered voters in Ann Arbor. It targets voters in wards with contested elections and prioritizes voters who have updated their Twitter statuses more recently. It is independent and does not consider demographics, political leanings, etc.
As you probably know if you're reading this, not many people vote in America. This is true in Ann Arbor, and is especially true when it comes to the city's less-publicized city council races.
Political campaigns target likely voters - that is, voters with a track record in voting in low-profile elections. Mail is expensive and it's not a good return for them to try to involve less-frequent voters. But it would be good if someone did.
This project hopes to increase voter turnout by tweeting at registered voters in Ann Arbor. Unlike snail mail, tweets are free. Maybe it'll get people to the polls... we'll send the tweets, track who actually votes (voter participation is a public record), and see if it works.
Why? I think society is better off when more people vote. It's also a fun project for me (Sam) to try some new programming areas.
Disclaimer: This project is party- and candidate-neutral. Code is posted publicly, demonstrating that voters are targeted without regard to political party, demographics, candidate preference, or any other factor. This project does not coordinate with nor does it aim to benefit any campaigns of any sort. I personally support specific candidates and issues, but am operating Ann Arbor Votes as an entirely independent side project.