Despite numerous challenges for elections leaders in 2021, four states and five counties successfully tackled election modernization tasks within NSGIC’s Geo-Enabled Elections project during the year. Their learnings and insights are now available in the latest pilot studies report, the third of its kind to be published.

While most jurisdictions involved in 2021 worked on goals characterized as being in the mid-way “implementation” phase, a couple generated learnings from the earlier “exploration” phase, and two offered insights from work on goals in the advanced “operation” phase.

The class of 2021 included new states Vermont and Texas, along with Michigan and Minnesota who returned to the pilot project to tackle additional challenges. Shasta County, California, also returned and was joined by four other California counties: Calaveras, Merced, Sutter, and Tulare. 

The pilot studies now published are an opportunity for other states and counties to learn from the pilots’ experiences, while the pilot jurisdictions themselves benefited from the support and encouragement NSGIC’s Geo-Enabled Elections project offered throughout the six-month process. New for 2021 was also a NSGIC Fellow, assigned to the pilot projects and able to assist participating jurisdictions in meeting their goals.

With the pod identification system now in place – classifying projects as exploration, implementation, or operation – readers from other jurisdictions can more easily locate pilot projects that might be similar to their home state or county when it comes to the level of GIS integration in elections currently being pursued. To access the pilot study summaries, click here. Previous pilot study summaries from 2019 and 2020, as well as case studies from across the nation, can be found on the Best Practices Guidance page.

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