Voting Information Project Takes Aim at Open Data, Social Media
This November, Foursquare users will be able to receive an "I Voted" badge when they visit their polling places. In addition, voters in 37 states will have an easier time finding election information via social media and mobile devices, thanks to the Voting Information Project (VIP), an initiative of the Pew Center on the States, Microsoft, AT&T, Foursquare, Google, state elections offices, media partners and others.
During the 2010 elections, VIP's polling place locator was used more than 6 million times by voters in 20 states. This year the initiative will expand and add features. According to an introductory video, most voters now rely on social media, mobile applications, online news sites and search engines to get voting information, rather than government websites. While VIP was in place this year for some primaries and the Iowa caucuses, general election data will be available four to six weeks prior to the general election.
So why is VIP needed? Some official websites, said Morse, are cumbersome. "You have to enter your name, your date of birth, your Social Security number. ... Some places you have to call and ask for the location of your polling place.” Morse said a Pew study indicated that it costs from $10 to $100 per transaction for an elections office to answer such questions. "There was an enormous amount of money going into answering these basic things that voters expect to find online by typing into Google, 'Where do I vote?'"
Read the full article at govtech.com.
- Election Initiatives