NSGIC’s Geo-Enabled Election project helps place right voter in THE right voting district
The Geo-Enabled Elections project was created in 2017 to strengthen the accuracy and reliability of America’s electoral system and to increase voters’ confidence that their voices are being heard in each election. In addition, the project has revealed significant time savings for many tasks involved in elections management, including redistricting and voting district boundary management.
The project’s goal is to assist states and other election authorities in implementing GIS technology in elections in order to ensure that voters are placed in the right voting district, receive the right ballot, and vote in the right electoral contests.
Instead of relying on cumbersome voter lists and verbal definitions of voting districts, GIS technology allows election officials to view voters as pinpoints on a map, and voting district boundaries as geometrical shapes that surround those pinpoints. The verification that voters have, in fact, been placed into the right voting district becomes much easier, as does quality control, through regular audits.
Many states already use GIS technology for other matters, such as emergency response systems, or land use, and often have a geographic information officer (GIO) within state government. Part of the Geo-Enabled Elections project’s mission is to promote a stronger dialogue between GIOs and election directors in state and local government.
In 2019 the project released Best Practices for Raising Election Accuracy and Efficiency with GIS, concrete guidance for states and other election authorities wishing to enhance efficiency and accuracy in elections management using GIS.
The Geo-Enabled Elections project is committed to raising awareness and supporting jurisdictions in integrating GIS in elections. In 2021, the project’s focus is on developing advocacy and learning tools.
Steering group, circle of advisors and project manager
A steering group of state GIS leaders helps guide the project:
Bert Granberg, Co-Chair – Director of Analytics, Wasatch Front Regional Council
Neil MacGaffey, Co-Chair – Director of Mass GIS, Executive Office of Technology and Security Services
Mary Fulton, Chief, Geospatial Services, Commonwealth of PA
Tim Johnson, Director, Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, North Carolina Department of Information Technology
Ken Nelson, GIS Section Manager at Kansas Geological Survey, State of Kansas Data Access & Support Center (DASC), University of Kansas
Dan Ross, Chief Geographic Information Officer, State of Minnesota
A circle of advisors provide the project with specialized expertise from their respective fields related to elections:
Gary Bilotta, IT Program Manager, Maricopa County Recorder’s Office
Kimball Brace, Election Data Services, Inc.
Ballingam Chepuri, Advanced Data Analyst, North Carolina Board of Elections
Veronica Degraffenreid, Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
John Dziurlaj, Solutions Architect, The Turnout
Greg Grube, GIS Elections Specialist, Wisconsin Elections Commission
Royce Jones, GDSI
Tyler Kleykamp, Director, State Chief Data Officers Network, Fellow at the Beeck Center – Georgetown University
Michael McDonald, Professor Department of Political Science, University of Florida
Jennifer Morrell, Consultant, Elections Group
Tammy Patrick, Democracy Fund
Franklin Smith, Technical Director, Voting Information Project
Paul Stenbjorn, Election Information Services
Grace Wachlarowicz, former Assistant City Clerk, Director Elections & Voter Services, City of Minneapolis – City Clerk Department
Sarah Whitt, Systems and Data Specialist, Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC)
Jamie Chesser, Director of Programs, NSGIC, firstname.lastname@example.org
NSGIC (pronounced NISS-gyck), or the National States Geographic Information Council, is a state-led organization for developing, exchanging, and endorsing geospatial technology and policy best practices. Its Geo-Enabled Elections project focuses specifically on the use of geospatial information in elections, and is partly funded by the independent Democracy Fund Voice. Read more about NSGIC here.