Need inspiration for your Knight News Challenge: Elections application? Watch this video and others in our Knight News Challenge: Elections Mixtape. Martin Kaplan is the Norman Lear Professor of Entertainment, Media and Society at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and founding director of the Norman Lear Center. Below he shares his thoughts on voting and civic participation, inspired by the Knight News Challenge on Elections, which asks the question: How might we better inform voters and increase civic participation before, during and after elections? The best nonpartisan ideas will share in more than $3 million. Applications close at 5 p.m. ET, Thursday, March 19. Apply at newschallenge.org. The Knight News Challenge inviting ideas to “make elections a meaningful gateway to long-lived civic engagement” makes a causal connection between better-informed voters and a robust democracy. The more people know what’s going on, the better off we are at self-government. Facts are the gold standard for democratic deliberation. It’s a common assumption. But might it actually be a leap of faith?