2019 Ballot Data Convening Organizations' Ballot Use
This information comes directly from organizations' responses to the 2019 Ballot Data Convening Pre-Survey. This page will be updated to include additional information and updates as they become available.
Question: Please briefly describe what your organization does and how it uses ballot data.
We use ballot data to inform the general public about upcoming elections that will be on their ballot via election overviews and candidate profiles. We cover federal, state and some local elections. We also provide a significant amount of historical election information.
Make it easy for every voter to be informed on their entire ballot, every election
At the Center for Civic Design, our mission is summed up in our slogan, democracy is a design problem. Across all of our projects, our research suggests that the voter journey—all of the information, decisions, interactions that get a voter from an intention to vote to actually casting a ballot—is a story of seemingly small barriers that can add up to a vote not cast. By smoothing out those barriers, our work can help more people vote, increasing participation in democracy.
We bring civic design skills in research, usability, design, accessibility, and plain language to improve the voting experience, make elections easier to administer, and encourage participation in elections. Through our work, we have helped hundreds of election officials and civic organizations build their skills and capacity, and touched millions of voters.
The Ballot Information Project (BIP) is our effort to collect nationwide datasets of all candidates and referenda that will appear on the ballot for a given election. It has been used since 2012 to power election-time tools from companies like Google and Facebook, and has provided a baseline dataset for civic engagement organizations and research projects. To date, our data has been accessed over 200 million times.
Cicero is a database of elections, elected official contact information and legislative district shapes. Our goal is to share knowledge, information, and resources, and to meet others working in the same space.
We work with state and county election administrators to publish ballot data through the Voting Information Project. Our overall goal is to provide voters with as much relevant election information as possible.
Facebook's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Within this, our civic engagement and civic integrity work use ballot data to both keep voters more informed, and keep our platforms safe and secure. Specifically, this involves building products to provide ballot information, including information from the candidates' FB Pages themselves, to voters, as well as ensuring the authenticity and safety of civic connections and interactions on the Facebook family of apps.
The League of Women Voters empowers voters and defends democracy. One way we do this is through our VOTE411.org website, where we create customized voters' guides, based on a user's address. These guides provide everything a voter needs to know in order to navigate Election Day, including information that enables voters to compare where candidates stand on different issues. We're excited to be undertaking a complete redesign of VOTE411 this year.
We publish Voter's Edge, a ballot guide in California.
The Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group (MGGG) is a Boston-based working group led by Moon Duchin of Tufts University and Justin Solomon of MIT. Our mission is to study applications of geometry and computing to U.S. redistricting. MGGG creates open-source tools and data repositories to put the ability to meaningfully assess districting plans into the hands of redistricting commissions, community groups, and everyday citizens. We believe that gerrymandering of all kinds is a fundamental threat to our democracy.
The nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute on Money in Politics (NIMP) promotes an accountable democracy by compiling comprehensive campaign-donor, lobbyist, and other information from government disclosure agencies nationwide and making it freely available at FollowTheMoney.org.
The Institute researches and archives a 50-state federal/state database of contributions documenting $100+ billion, plus more than 2 million state lobbyist-client relationships that are registered annually. Recent expansions include selected local-level data, collecting independent spending reports for federal campaigns and in 31 states, and lobbying spending in 20 states.
The Institute uses candidate and office holder information to report meaningfully about the money used during campaigns, currently manually collecting much of the core candidate information at state, local and federal level to attach to campaign filings and election results.
NSGIC exists to advance effective state-led geospatial coordination for the nation. In October 2017, NSGIC launched the Geo-Enabled Elections (GEE) project underwritten by the Democracy Fund Voice. The GEE project facilitates the adoption of GIS and related processes to enhance elections management and citizen management. The project's fundamental goal is the right ballot to the right voter. We are interested in making sure voters are placed in the correct precincts and districts.
OpenElections collects, converts and publishes precinct-level election results from all 50 states for federal and state contests.
We are a group building tools to inform the conversation around gerrymandering.
Our current goal is to build a national database of precinct shapefiles tied to election results.
Rock the Vote is a nonpartisan nonprofit working to build the political power of young people. Our organization works at the intersection of civic technology, civic education, and pop culture to mobilize young voters. We use ballot data to build issue-based voter guides.
Vote Smart's mission is to provide free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to ALL Americans.
Our Voter's Self-Defense System - provided in print, over the phone, and online at VoteSmart.org - uses and supplements ballot data with six categories of information on candidates from state legislator to president: voting records; campaign finances; issue positions; biographical and contact information; public statements; and special interest group ratings.
Vote.org uses data and technology to simplify political engagement, increase voter turnout, and strengthen American democracy.