Geo-Enabled Elections

Best
Practices
Guidance

IMPROVING AMERICA’S
ELECTIONS with GIS

Young woman preparing voting booth
Best Practices for geo-enabled elections

Does America’s electoral system know where each voter resides? By and large, yes. But not nearly well enough to correctly place every voter in the right voting district and avoid election errors. Integrating GIS in elections increases election accuracy and efficiency; however, few states and other election authorities have fully geo-enabled their elections. NSGIC partnered with states and subject matter experts to develop five best practices for implementing GIS in elections.

GIS In Elections graphic
Read the executive summary

Learn about the five best practices for geo-enabling elections and how states can benefit from integrating GIS in elections.

Best Practices for geo-enabled elections graphic
Best practices in detail

More detail about the five best practices, including policy and technical considerations.

Also available the case studies that helped inform the best practices in:

Hawaii

North Carolina

Utah

Washington

Wisconsin

Pilot studies for geo-enabled elections
Pilot studies – five states

Learnings from Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Best practices

for IMPLEMENTING GIS IN ELECTIONS

Team of Specialists

TEAM OF SPECIALISTS

VOTING UNIT GIS LAYERS

VOTING UNIT GIS LAYERS

GEOCODING STRATEGY

GEOCODING STRATEGY

CONTEXTUAL GIS LAYERS

CONTEXTUAL GIS LAYERS

DATA VALIDATION PROCESSES

DATA VALIDATION PROCESSES

Other helpful tools to get started

Need help getting the conversation started in your state? NSGIC has developed a helpful tool for that. Five Questions Election Directors Can Ask Their State GIO

Are you using HAVA funds to upgrade your elections management system? Make sure your new voter registration system is capable of using GIS – or you may lock your state into outdated list-file technology for years. Use these sample RFPs to learn how.

For more information on the state of GIS in elections across the country, please refer to these reports from the Geo-Enabled Elections project.

THE GEO-ENABLED ELECTIONS PROJECT

NSGIC’s Geo-Elections Elections project was created in 2017 to assist states in implementing GIS technology in elections. The need for this technology will become more urgent as 2021 nationwide redistricting draws near. GIS technology is particularly helpful for reducing the risk of errors when voters are re-allocated to new districts following a redrawing of district boundaries. During 2020 and 2021, the Geo-Enabled Elections project will continue to raise awareness and support states in integrating GIS in elections. The project will partner with pilot states to expand adoption and refine recommendations; any state interested in participating may contact the project here.

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