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Microsoft Technology Empowering the 2016 Election

By Stan Freck, Senior Director, Technology & Civic Engagement, Microsoft on March 8, 2017

Filed under Microsoft in Government

Throughout the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, Microsoft played a significant role in providing technology and innovation in support of the democratic process. Before any votes were cast or candidates were announced, we believed Microsoft technology, and our teams, could help organizations and individuals in the 2016 Presidential election cycle – campaigns, national parties, campaign technology vendors, the National Nominating Convention Committees, the Presidential Inaugural Committee – to do more and achieve more. Today, we are releasing our final video in our Election 2016 series, which captures a multitude of ways those organizations and people realized value from Microsoft technologies with our assistance.

Microsoft’s work spanned almost every part of the company. Notable successes this cycle are showcased on the Microsoft News Center’s Elections newsroom, and include:

  • The development of first-of-their-kind mobile and tablet apps for the reporting and validation of results from the Iowa Caucuses.
  • The Bing Elections experience, which allowed voters to learn about the candidates and issues in a unique and interactive way.
  • Coverage and streaming of major election events on MSN and Bing.
  • Use of Microsoft technologies – including Azure, Azure ML, Cortana Analytics, Dynamics CRM, and PowerBI – during the election cycle by many campaigns, parties, and campaign technology vendors.
  • Use of Microsoft technologies including Skype, Azure, PowerBI, Dynamics CRM, and Surface devices to support the operations of both National Nominating Committees and the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
  • Use of Microsoft technology in election coverage at key moments in time by MSNBC, Telemundo, and CNN, with all three using Microsoft Pulse and CNN continuing to use the “Magic Wall” – including the State of the Union address, the Iowa Caucuses, and the Presidential debates and wrapping up with President Trump’s first address to the nation.
  • Launch of WatchTheDebates.org in partnership with PBS NewsHour and endorsed by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The site compiles videos of all televised general election debates since 1960 in one location for the first time ever. The site provided users access to live streams of all four national debates and let them express their views through Microsoft Pulse.

For a more comprehensive look back at our work from Iowa through Election Night, the previous videos in the series are also available here.

Now, just over a month after the inauguration of a new president, we can be certain that through our application of Microsoft technologies, the effort with key partners, and the focus of teams across the country, we helped every facet of the election landscape, including millions of people around the country (and around the world) during one of the most fascinating election cycles in our nation’s history. As we look forward, Microsoft is committed to providing technology and innovation to enable the democratic process for years to come.

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