The 2011 (Virtual) Presidential Campaign Kick-Off at

February 4, 2011

1:59 pm

The winner of the 2011 virtual presidential campaign won’t lead the free world, though someone will be ten thousand dollars richer come November if they master the political process at

U4prez operates under the premise that anyone can become president of the United States. The site kicked off four years ago to give the average Jane or Joe an opportunity to “test their political chops”.  The race for the virtual presidency begins when candidates create a biographical profile that introduces them, and their views, to the voting public. There is space for a short platform, a longer answer for “what you would do as president”, and an area for user comments. Other ways to build a strong base and participate in u4prez’s democratic process are by caucusing, introducing bills and writing editorials on the issues you want to uphold – or see defeated. Political debate is the core of the site, and just like in real-life, support from other candidates is needed to win.

The site runs weekly primaries – democrat vs. democrat, republican vs. republican and independents against other independents.  Activity and popularity are measured in two ways. Candidates rate each other’s platforms up or down and an algorithm developed by measures campaign activity. This algorithm gives the candidates a candidate rank or “CR”, which will represent half of the total score.  Candidates create “sound bites” to inform their existing supporters and create blogs to attract potential supporters.  The candidates also debate in several issue-oriented forums, and if they find themselves in a runoff, they must respond to their opponents in a primary debate forum.

The requirements for the virtual presidency are looser than what Article Two Section 1(5) of the American Constitution stipulates – U4prez is open to all US residents 14 ages and over. Past participants include morning radio disc jockeys to actual presidential candidates, yet the winners have been those who campaign well and build a base of supporters. Last year’s race was won by a Democrat after a first-ever tie in initial balloting between the top Republican and Democratic Party candidates.

Think you have what it takes to become the virtual president (or at least win a primary)? Test your political acumen at you might win $10,000.

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Marla Shaivitz is a writer, developer and digital marketer. She's interested in innovations & innovators in technology and those working toward social good. Follow Marla on Twitter at @marlashaivitz.

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