This election year, election officials will have a new collection of tools to help them engage their communities in the electoral process and improve how elections are run throughout the U.S. The Election Toolkit, an online library of resources for election officials, includes tools like a free app to measure voter wait times, guidelines on how to create short videos and infographics, and a collection of civic icons and illustrations. All of the tools in the Toolkit are either free or low cost and come paired with step-by-step instructions, making them accessible to any election official, regardless of their budget or tech skills.
“Understanding how to use digital tools is key to effectively communicating things like law changes and deadlines to voters. And using data can help make sure that every voter’s experience is seamless,” says Tiana Epps-Johnson, Executive Director at the Center for Technology and Civic Life. “While technology can’t solve every problem, we see the Toolkit as a resource that any election office can use to manage and publish their really rich information in ways that communities have come to expect.”
Local election officials play a vital role in the civic life of their communities, but their work is often restrained by outdated technology and tight budgets. Recognizing a need for a new collection of resources in elections, the Center for Technology and Civic Life, a nonprofit based in Chicago, devised the Election Toolkit for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s News Challenge on Elections, which funds ideas that better inform voters and increase civic participation. The Election Toolkit was named one of the 22 winners of the Knight News Challenge in July 2015.
To assemble and design the Toolkit, the Center for Technology and Civic Life – along with project partners the Center for Civic Design, the Cook County (IL) Clerk, the Hillsborough County (FL) Supervisor of Elections, and the Inyo County (CA) Clerk-Recorder-Registrar – called upon the experience and expertise of local election officials.
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.