In August, nearly 100,000 voters accessed Voting Information Project (VIP)resources to look up information for elections in 12 states—Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Over the past year, state and local governments, third-party organizations, and voters in 40 states have used VIP tools to support primaries, runoffs, and local and municipal races across the country. Read more.
By Anthea Watson-Strong (Google) and Alexis Schuler (Pew Charitable Trusts) In 2008, a group of us at The Pew Charitable Trusts and Google came together on what seemed like a far-fetched idea at the time - using the Internet to bring state and local election officials closer to their voters on key questions about the voting process: Where do I vote? What’s on my ballot? What are the rules and deadlines for casting my vote? Read more.
Election Day is less than 100 days away, and many voters will soon be receiving their ballots in the mail or casting early ballots. Data from multiple editions of the Survey of the Performance of American Elections show that a growing number of voters are embracing these alternatives to traditional precinct voting. Read more.
Rhode Island and Kentucky are the latest states to launch online voter registration systems, bringing to 32—plus the District of Columbia—the number of states that allow citizens to register to vote and upgrade their registrations entirely online. Online registration is more convenient and efficient for voters, consumes less time and resources of state and local officials, and results in fewer inaccuracies than handwritten paper forms. Read more.
In advance of the May 17 presidential primary, the Oregon secretary of state’s office customized and embedded the Voting Information Project’s (VIP) Voting Information Tool to help voters find ballot drop box locations throughout the state. Elections in Oregon are conducted entirely by mail, but voters have the option to drop off their ballots at secure sites maintained by each county. Read more.
In 2013, The Pew Charitable Trusts unveiled the Elections Performance Index (EPI), which provided the first comprehensive assessment of election administration in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Now, the online interactive tool has been updated to include data from 2014, allowing users to compare midterm elections for the first time. Read more.
Connecticut Secretary of State Denise W. Merrill’s office recently completed development of a real-time election reporting system, which allows local officials to enter the returns for their jurisdictions online and makes those unofficial election results immediately available for public view. The system, developed by PCC Technology Group, a technology company based in Windsor, Connecticut, will be used by every city and town in the state during the November general election. Read more.
In an effort to increase voter participation, especially among millennials, the Rhode Island secretary of state’s office recently developed and released an updated, mobile-friendly version of its Voter Information Center. Read more.
In March, VIP’s election information was accessed nearly 2 million times. This year, Pew, in collaboration with the Internet Association, relaunched the Get to the Polls website, which provides another way to access VIP information. The site allows voters to enter their addresses and find the locations and hours of their polling places, as well as ballot and candidate information for supported statewide and municipal elections. Get to the Polls had approximately 1.5 million visitors in March. Read more.
With the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary over, the presidential campaign now moves into the heart of the primary schedule. Thirty-one states will hold elections in the next five weeks, and millions of voters will need to know where to vote and what’s on their ballots. Read more.