While all eyes were on election administrators across the country in 2020, five states and one county still found the time to elevate their elections management through the use of GIS technology. The pilot studies resulting from this work 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.
The class of 2020 represents an even greater cross-section of the nation than the states that concluded their work in 2019. From Arkansas to Oregon via Michigan, Minnesota, and Montana, the pilot states reporting back now include touchdowns across the country. And for the first time ever, they are joined by a county – Shasta County of California, a “bottom-up” state, which means that the responsibility for voter records resides on a county level, with information rolling up from there to the state level.
“We are thrilled with the diversity of the 2020 pilot participants,” says Jamie Chesser, director of programs at NSGIC. “Not only in terms of locations but also in terms of pod identification; they provide a great breadth of insight for many other jurisdictions to learn from.”
Chesser is referring to the classification of each of the six 2020 pilot projects into one of three pods: exploration, implementation, and operation. The intent is to make it easier for readers from other jurisdictions to locate pilot studies that might be similar to their home state or county when it comes to the level of GIS integration in elections they are currently pursuing. Access the pilot study summaries here.