Of course, we’re not the first to try to tackle some of these challenges, so we reviewed some existing resources that support elections. These ranged from government web sites, to third-party sites and even a KickStarter concept. Representative examples are summarized below.
Many state and local government agencies provide basic information and tools to voters and volunteers on topics such as registration, polling location, and information on current political representatives.
In Pennsylvania, the state provides votesPA.com to inform votes on voting and elections, registration, and election complaints. It features a self-selection tool on the homepage to efficiently guide users to relevant content and tools.
Role-based selection on homepage of votesPA.com filters content based on expected needs and tasks.
This web-based app, provided for registered New York voters by the New York City Campaign Finance Board, includes a poll site finder, registration guidance, and an address-specific ballot view.
NYC Votes web app provides localized ballot information to voters.
In addition to government sites, many third-party organizations provide objective information to support voters and election administrators:
Committee of Seventy
In Philadelphia, the Committee of Seventy is a non-partisan organization that provides information on upcoming elections, as well as registration information, ID requirements, and current representatives.
Non-partisan sites like the Committee of Seventy, are designed to support voters.
Voting Technology Project - Election Toolkit
This set of tools was created in the wake of the 2000 election to support administrators in planning and conducting elections. It provides calculators for queuing theory and worker, machine, and line optimization, as well as toolkits to implement online registration.
The Election Toolkit provides tools and data to help administrators run efficient elections.
Two conceptual projects stood out to us in particular, as they attempted to address a significant range of issues within the election process:
This is a comprehensive, research-based examination and design proposal for improving the current electoral system. Outputs include an improved set of paper election materials and a standardized ballot, focusing on clarity and simplicity.
Detail of proposed paper ballot redesign from America Elect project
The Voting App
This conceptual app (and failed KickStarter effort) provides a consolidated set of tools to support voters. It proposes several of the features our project team had determined would valuable for voters, including sample ballots, election calendars, and polling place information.
Views of the proposed The Voting App.