Targeting Tech

By Chris Nolan  |  Posted 2005-11-09 Print this article Print

-Savvy Voters"> Those are neighborhoods of the citys professionals: people who travel a lot on business or who work in Silicon Valley—a long commute, particularly when you need to beat a clock. For these voters, permanent absentee ballots are the only way to vote. There are some cautions, of course. For now, permanent absentee voters—like the first folks to vote online will be—are more sophisticated. Theyve figure out how to get the forms, for starters. That sophistication makes them, in the grand scheme of things, more moderate: able, if not willing, to consider both sides.
That might not be such a bad thing either, particularly if youre getting tired of all the screaming and baiting that passes for political discourse these days. But it will be temporary. As more folks move online, the more raucous aspects of politicking will show up there as well.
In San Francisco, Newsom ran as a fiscally minded liberal. Although he has become best know for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, his main campaign platform was his insistence on bucking the citys self-styled liberalism. He campaigned on a plan to change how San Francisco helped its homeless residents by dramatically reducing the cash subsidies they were paid. Thats not a cookie-cutter liberal agenda and it was created to appeal to the very folks who use—rely on, really—absentee ballots. Thats another trend that folks supporting online, Internet-based voting might want to consider. With time to consider their votes, such as a range of days in which to send in their choices online (or, for now, through the mail), voters listen a bit less to sound bites and thumbnail analyses and a little bit more to common sense and practical solutions. That wont be a permanent state of affairs, of course. And yes, I know. Its a lot to hope for. But almost anything beats what weve got now. technology and politics columnist Chris Nolan spent years chronicling the excesses of the dot-com era with incisive analysis leavened with a dash of humor. Before that, she covered politics and technology in D.C. You can read her musings on politics and technology at She can be reached at Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis of technologys impact on government and politics.

Standalone journalist Chris Nolan runs 'Politics from Left to Right,' a political Web site at that focuses on the intersection of politics, technology and business issues in San Francisco, in California and on the national scene.

Nolan's work is well-known to tech-savvy readers. Her weekly syndicated column, 'Talk is Cheap,' appeared in The New York Post, Upside, and other publications. Debuting in 1997 at the beginnings of the Internet stock boom, it covered a wide variety of topics and was well regarded for its humor, insight and news value.

Nolan has led her peers in breaking important stories. Her reporting on Silicon Valley banker Frank Quattrone was the first to uncover the now infamous 'friend of Frank' accounts and led, eventually, to Quattrone's conviction on obstruction of justice charges.

In addition to columns and Weblogging, Nolan's work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, Fortune, Business 2.0 and Condé, Nast Traveler, and she has spoken frequently on the impact of Weblogging on politics and journalism.

Before moving to San Francisco, Nolan, who has more than 20 years of reporting experience, wrote about politics and technology in Washington, D.C., for a series of television trade magazines. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University.


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