Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 9:00-10:30 PM Eastern
This webinar is designed primarily for computer programmers and other techie people. State party leaders may also find value in the introductory portion of the call which will be more conceptual. Note, the latter half of the call will get technical. More details below.
Background and Details
Pennsylvania and Maryland are offering a great custom-built program that provides very quick checks of voter registration for any purpose. After some minor adjustments for each state, the app allows nearly instant checking of names and addresses against your state’s voter database. The software is particularly designed to help with difficult-to-read signatures, hand-written addresses, and partial letters for each field. We offer it to any GP organization with explanation and some startup help. This can help with ballot access petition verification in advance of submission to state boards of election, issue petitions, ballot referendums, and other canvassing.
The software provides an instant search of a state’s database of registered voters, using just small parts of names and addresses, to accurately identify a voter. The software has well designed indexes that allow fast lookup of voters based on data elements like first name, middle name, last name, street name, city, date of birth, year of birth, etc. Parts of names and words, including those in the middle of a name or address, and combinations of parts of fields may also be used to search. As a web app, it is easy to share among party members, and can be used during tabling to instantly check someone is a registered voter.
MD used it in the fall of 2014 to verify 17,000 ballot access signatures, including middle initial and address as registered. MD used it simultaneously across the state, distributing the 17,000 signed petitions among many volunteers for a large team effort, with each person taking a small amount and working at their own pace. The software ensured the MD GP ballot access submission met strict new court signature and middle name requirements, and qualified the party for another four years.
As a web-based application, the software can be run in the field while tabling and canvassing. Voters can be told where they are registered, and if they are not registered.
The main app was developed by Brandon Kane in PA, then modified by John Holland in MD. Brandon provided the software and John made a few minor modifications, including importing the MD voter data and MD counties, and then ran it on a virtual machine accessible from the internet