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[liberationtech] Summary of EveryVote.org project to date / Call for help coordinating EV's programming and to begin collaboration on a federated vote sharing network

Mitch Downey mitch at everyvote.org
Mon Aug 6 19:24:22 PDT 2012


Hi LibTech listserv,

Thanks so much for the great feedback EV has received so far! This listserv
in particular has been a big help and encouragement for the EV project. Thx
again.

EveryVote.org is an open source UI design for an extensible (global)
election participation and vote comparison platform. The current goal is to
have an implementation of the site testable for the USA Nov 2012 election
day. EV has a team of volunteers who want to make civic engagement easier
and more equitable, but we're new to this type of project, and would really
appreciate help coordinating its programming, or help in any other
volunteer capacity.

The following is a summary of the site's principles and intended features.

Comprehensive UI Design Diagrams- http://imgur.com/a/PKHBy
Comprehensive UI Text Design Document - http://tiny.cc/z47miw
Phase 1 UI Design Diagrams (fewer features) - http://imgur.com/a/zbeOi
Phase 1 UI Text Design Document - http://tiny.cc/g37miw

The EveryVote.org UI would emphasize two primary features for its users:

1) Candidate data for every election the user is eligible to vote in
---federal, state, county, and local (in USA)--- all on a single, easy to
navigate page.

2) The ability to cast a vote of approval or disapproval for any site
entity (officials, candidates, users, groups, bills, and eventually any
other article), and to automatically see how their voting records compare
to others' voting profiles.

If a casual user can't find their local or county level candidate or
official data, they should be able to add that data themselves (please
refer to the + signs along the right side of this diagram
http://tiny.cc/9b8miw) . The platform could use a submission and moderation
system similar to Wikipedia's, but stricter to ensure accuracy.

Also, EveryVote.org is committed to participating in a federated vote
sharing network. In a non-federated voting network, users have to recast
all their previous votes again if they try a new voting
platform. Developing and/or using a federated voting network also helps
developers from reinventing the wheel when making a Gov 2.0 application.
 Why write a custom CMS when there are great solutions already out there to
build upon?  Why write a custom voting framework when we could all work on
a combined effort and create a great solution everyone can benefit from?

Civic engagement would be much easier and more fun if users could exchange
their voting records between platforms. It's a big project, but a
distributed vote sharing network would give people more incentive to invest
their time in Gov2.0 resources, and could increase usage of all
participating platforms.

The site will share all public site data in APIs and other processible
formats. All users should have free and equal access to the public
information provided on the site.

EveryVote.org will never sell or share your private user data.

EveryVote.org will be seeking 501(c)(3) non-profit status, will be
financially transparent, and if full-time staff is needed, salaries would
be modest. The project does not have funding and is entirely volunteer
driven at this time.

Sorry for the lengthy summary, but thanks for checking out the project :D
If you may be interested in helping coordinate the programming, or in any
other volunteer capacity, please email contactus at everyvote.org. Any other
feedback or questions would be appreciated.

Thanks!
The EV Development Team

@everyvoteorg
www.facebook.com/everyvote
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