In November 2019, Democracy Fund Voice confirmed a second award of $300,000 to NSGIC to fund the next phase of the Geo-Enabled Elections Project. This new grant allows NSGIC to continue assisting states in adopting GIS to strengthen elections – concurrent with major events like the 2020 elections and the upcoming redistricting.
The Geo-Enabled Elections project was launched in October 2017 and will now continue for an additional two years. The project aims to help strengthen electoral systems by supporting states in the adoption of GIS. Concretely, this means encouraging state governments to replace non-spatial ‘address file’ systems with election precinct and voter data in a GIS format, leveraging that format’s inherent visual and analytical advantages.
With its second phase, the project turns to focus on working hands-on with up to ten more states through the pilot program, developing a curriculum for elections officials on foundations of GIS in elections, increasing awareness of the benefits of geo-enabling elections systems among elections stakeholders, and developing policy guidance and advocacy tools to support integration of GIS in elections.
“Accurate boundary lines and efficient voter placement are the building blocks of our elections and are tantamount to the integrity of the democratic process. Democracy Fund Voice is a proud sponsor of efforts such as NSGIC Geo-Enabled Elections as a way to further ensure that the American electorate is well served,” says Tammy Patrick, Senior Advisor at Democracy Fund Voice.
The key accomplishment of the Geo-Enabled Elections project, phase one, is the development of the Best Practices Guidance, available for download here. In addition, a report of all the work done in the first phase of the project can be found here.