Five Questions Election Directors
can ask their State GIO
Many states and counties already use geographic information systems (GIS) for their emergency response systems or for land use purposes – but not for elections. And while it might seem intuitive that elections management could be streamlined with GIS – increasing accuracy, facilitating audits, and saving significant work effort – many states and counties may not know how to get started on implementing GIS in elections.
Beginning the dialogue
In a 2019 NSGIC report, five out of six state election directors stated that they know about GIS and have access to a GIS expert. However, fewer than a third of election directors could confirm that they have a voter registration system that supports geospatial information and objects.
NSGIC’s Geo-Enabled Elections project seeks to promote a stronger dialogue between geographic information officers (GIOs) and election directors. Their relationship is a key component of the successful integration of GIS with a state’s election data management system. The GIO can craft a plan that ensures the best outcomes, is sustainable and scalable, and allows for efficient implementation, given a realistic pool of resources.