How the Voting Information Project Works

How the Voting Information Project Works

The Voting Information Project (VIP), an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts, in partnership with Google and the states, ensures that Americans can easily find answers to important elections questions—such as, "Where is my polling place?" "What's on my ballot?" and "How do I navigate the voting process?—where they look for it most: online. Although the official information that voters access is delivered in a simple, easy-to-understand way, the work involved in making sure it is complete, up-to-date, and accurate is complex. Pew has created an infographic that illustrates the VIP process, providing an in-depth look at the four-step method of standardizing, validating, and publishing state election data: 

  1. States collect and package their data.
  2. VIP processes the data and scans them for errors using its quality-assurance system.
  3. VIP publishes the data to a secure website.
  4. The data are processed, tested, and submitted to election officials for review before being released to the public.

At the end of the process, the data become publicly available through the Google Civic Information API, which powers various tools and applications—including VIP’s Voting Information Tool and free white-label apps—as well as Google Search.

Interested state election officials can contact the VIP team at vip@pewtrusts.org.

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data visualization
Voting Information Project Data Flow
Voting Information Project Data Flow
Data Visualization

Voting Information Project Data Flow

The Voting Information Project (VIP) works with states to ensure that Americans can easily find official voting information where they look for it most: online.

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Data Visualization

The Voting Information Project (VIP) works with states to ensure that Americans can easily find official voting information where they look for it most: online. VIP, a partnership of The Pew Charitable Trusts, Google, and states, aims to ensure that voters have the answers they need to basic questions such as, "Where is my polling place?" "What's on my ballot?" and "How do I navigate the voting process?" VIP uses an open format to make election data available and accessible, using cutting-edge technology to make sure that all eligible voters have the information they need to cast their ballots. This highly technical initiative involves the standardization, validation, and publication of state election data. Validation of state data, in particular, is an extremely complex process, and before VIP, no technical solution existed to rigorously test for every potential error from structural to geographical accuracy. To address this issue, VIP developed a first-of-its-kind set of criteria and the software solution to support it.

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