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OpenGov Voices: Improve voter experience in NYC — Come to the Voting Information Project Hackathon!

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of the Sunlight Foundation or any employee thereof. Sunlight Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information within the guest blog.J.Marcotte

Jared Marcotte is a manager for The Pew Charitable Trusts Election Initiatives. Recently, as a senior engineer at the New Organizing Institute, Jared worked on the Voting Information Project -- a collaboration with state and local officials, Google, Microsoft and Pew to develop and populate an open API and database of election-related information for all 50 states. Jared is also an interface and interaction designer and has worked on the Election Protection Coalition’s Our Vote Live and KCET.org.

Casting a vote is the most basic way we participate in our democracy, and effective election systems are fundamental to that participation. But in many cases, finding the information you need to cast your ballot – where your polling place is, what’s on your ballot, and what you need to bring with you – is not as simple as it should be. The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Voting Information Project (VIP) works to improve the voter experience by providing up-to-date election information where voters are most likely to look for it - online. Like everything else today, when people want information the web is the first place they look. VIP brings election information directly to the voter by allowing states to expose official election data such as polling locations, registration deadlines, and ballot information on various mediums and platforms like the web and mobile.

Modern voters expect online tools to help them cast an informed vote, and VIP is here to provide new platforms to enhance their experience. On August 2-3 we are hosting our first-ever New York City hackathon at AlleyNYC in midtown Manhattan. The event will bring together 150 developers, designers, and usability experts to generate socially innovative applications that can improve the voting experience in New York City for the 2013 primary and general elections, including the mayoral race.

We’ll be capping the registration at 150 so register today!

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