On August 14, 85 leaders in elections management and GIS, representing 15 states, converged at The Eaton, Washington D.C., to share leading-edge findings and craft best practices to enhance the nation’s election system using GIS. With the 2020 Census on the horizon, followed by redistricting, boundary management was a key topic. How do states and other election authorities ensure that each voter votes in the right electoral contests, on an on-going basis, but particularly following redistricting?
A large part of the answer lies in leveraging the key technology that NSGIC’s Geo-Enabled Elections project is focused on; integrating GIS in election systems across the nation to increase election accuracy and efficiency, while avoiding costly mistakes and do-overs.
The Elections GeoSummit represented the culmination of the Geo-Enabled Elections project’s work to date and featured panel discussions with participants in the project’s five pilot studies and five case studies. In addition, the summit included a highly anticipated presentation of the project’s draft best practices to enhance elections with GIS. A publication of the final best practices will follow in September.
The words of keynote speaker Meagan Wolfe, Administrator, Wisconsin Elections Commission, summed up the event: “We can make elections work or we can make elections thrive!” The Elections GeoSummit, and leveraging GIS in elections management both offer pathways for states to make elections thrive.
Meeting materials and notes from the Elections GeoSummit can be found on the event page until September 15.