a mobile app for busy voters
Ballot gives you the digital tools you need to be an informed and engaged citizen. Using just your address, Ballot provides you with upcoming election information: date(s), polling location, and the candidates on your personal ballot. You can review your options, visit candidate profiles, and save your selections.
democracy requires participation
Only 58% of eligible voters participated in the 2016 presidential elections. In the 2014 mid-term elections, voter turnout was the lowest it has been in 70 years, just 36.4%. When it comes to local elections, the data is worse. Voter participation in local elections for many U.S. cities is now below 20%.
build voter confidence
In April 2015, we received a grant from the Prototype Fund of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to build a prototype of Ballot. The prototype team conducted focus groups and interviews of voters, candidates, and political advisers to determine the initial set of features: user sign-up, candidate listing, candidate profiles, matching quiz, and upcoming election information.
join the cause
Our team is committed to creating a beautifully designed, trustworthy and functional product that facilitates and encourages civic participation. There are a lot of ways to fund good ideas, and we are well aware of the influence of money in politics. Like any other startup, we answer to the people who support us. Because of this, we are inviting you to be a part of what's next for Ballot.
Personally Identifiable Information
Your views and affiliations
In addition to PII, there is other information that you may share through Ballot that we consider sensitive, and to which we apply strict rules. While this information cannot be used to identify you personally, it does provide insights about the views of people who use Ballot. We refer to this information in this Policy as “Your Views” and includes but is not limited to, your stated political party affiliation and the issues you vote on via our website or applications. Your Views do not include any information that you post publicly or share through your social networks or through message exchanges with other users. Because Ballot does not collect such information directly from you and because, once posted, such information may be immediately accessible by parties that we do not manage, Ballot cannot control such information in the way we control information provided to us, which we describe as Your Views in this Policy.
We also collect information about the use of the Ballot website and applications which does not reveal your identity. This information includes, but is not limited to, browser and device information, information collected through cookies, pixel tags, and other technologies, and demographic information and other non-identifying information provided by you (such as a zip code or general geographic area).
How we may use your information
There are multiple ways we use your information to provide the best service possible to you. In doing so, we may use your PII and Your Views to draw your attention to issues in which we believe you may be interested, and to communicate directly with you through email, via our apps, or in your usage of our services. Here are some examples of the ways we might use your information:
We use your information to respond to your inquiries and fulfill your requests, such as showing you the candidates on your upcoming election ballot or your assigned voting poll location.
We use your information to communicate directly to and provide you information regarding our services and changes to our terms, conditions, and policies.
We use your information for data analysis, developing new services, enhancing, improving or modifying our website and applications, identifying usage trends, and determining the effectiveness of our services.
We use your information to personalize your experience by presenting relevant voting information tailored to you based on what we know about you. We may also send you promotional communications that we believe may be of interest to you.
We use your information to facilitate social sharing functionality, such as sharing content and voting information through the Ballot website and application, as well as other social media platforms such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
We use your account information to allow you to send email messages to your email contacts through our platform, such as to share voting information.
We use information about your computer or device to ensure that our site, apps and APIs function properly and are optimized for your computer or device.
If you are using one of our mobile applications, we use your device ID to recognize you when you use the application and to store your preferences and settings.
We use IP Addresses for administration and security purposes, such as calculating usage levels of our sites, apps and API, helping diagnose server problems and detecting fraud and spam behavior.
We may use and share aggregated and anonymized information to better understand and serve our users or for optimization of our marketing and ad targeting efforts. For example, we may compile statistics about the percentage of our users in a state or county who care about animal rights, or the age range of those users.
Who may receive your PII and Your Views
The Ballot community
Your username, general geographic location (such as city, state, country), and a link to your Ballot user profile may be displayed on your profile page, on contributions you make and on related areas. This information will be viewable to any user of Ballot, including the media, search engines, and other organizations that access Ballot. If you do not wish to have your personal information displayed, you may choose not to reveal your name on your profile page by selecting a username other than your name. Our platform provides an open forum for communication by users. We do not monitor, verify, or perform any background check on users.
Your other social media platforms
You may voluntarily share information on message boards, chat, profile pages and blogs, and other services to which you are able to post information and materials (including the Ballot pages on Facebook and other social media platforms). Please remember that any information you post or disclose through these services will become accessible to the public, and may be available to other Ballot users, social media platform users and to the general public. We urge you to be very careful when deciding to disclose any information about yourself via the social sharing features of our platform.
Advertisers and ad networks
We may share information about you with advertisers and advertising networks on our platform, except that we will not provide PII to advertisers or ad networks. Also, advertising companies may place cookies on your browser. If you would like more information about this practice and to learn about your choices in connection with it, please visit http://www.aboutads.info/.
If you are using one of our mobile applications, our ad network partners may use and store your mobile device ID to show ads that they consider relevant to you in various mobile services that you use.
Organizations and Representatives
Ballot maintains pages for organizations and political representatives with which you can interact. If you interact directly with organizations and representatives on these pages and provide PII on their pages, only the representatives and organizations to whom you have provided PII via the Ballot platform will receive your PII. For instance, if you send a message to your city council representative when sharing your voting preference or advocating on issues, and include your email address and name, that information will be made available to your city council representative and only that city council representative. Ballot may also share Your Views with representatives and organizations, provided that we will never associate Your Views with PII when providing PII to representatives or organizations unless you specifically enable a specific interaction. We may share Your Views with representatives and organizations in a manner that does not identify you individually. For instance, we may share with candidate percentages of users who liked that candidate’s profile, but we will not include your PII in these instances or share your voting behavior in a way that can identify you as an individual.
We may share information about you with our services providers who process information to provide services to us or on your behalf. We have contracts with our service providers that prohibit them from sharing your information with anyone else or from using your information for any purposes other than providing contracted services.
We may disclose the personal information we collect about our users when we believe disclosure is necessary to investigate, prevent, or respond to suspected illegal or fraudulent activity or to protect the safety, rights, or property of Ballot, our users, or others.
If requested or required by government authorities, such as law enforcement authorities, courts, or regulators, or otherwise to comply with the law, we may have to disclose any information we have about our users. We also may disclose information collected about you in order to exercise or protect legal rights or defend against legal claims.
We have no plans to sell our business. In this unlikely event, we may transfer your personal information to a third party if we or any of our company affiliates are involved in a corporate restructuring (e.g., a sale, merger, or other transfer of assets).
Ballot may use your PII to send you promotional communications. You have the opportunity to opt-out of receiving such promotional communications from us at any time. In accordance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, Ballot will not sell your email address if you have opted out of receiving promotional communications or other emails from Ballot. If you no longer want to receive marketing-related emails from us or its affiliate companies going forward, you may opt out of receiving these by following the instructions contained in any such email or by clicking “unsubscribe” from the footer of our emails.
We will comply with your request(s) as soon as reasonably practicable. Please also note that if you do opt out of receiving marketing-related emails from us, we may still send you important administrative messages (such as updates about your account or service changes), and you cannot opt out from receiving these messages.
You may opt out of receiving targeted online advertising from advertising networks that may be delivered on our platform and other websites by visiting the following websites:
Network Advertising Initiative (http://www.networkadvertising.org/)
Digital Advertising Alliance (http://www.aboutads.info/consumers)
Please bear in mind that there are many more companies listed on these sites than those that place cookies on your computer when you access our platform.
We may also display ads within our present or future mobile apps. If you are using an iOS device and you do not want to receive tailored in-application ads that relate to your interests, you may opt-out by accessing the following link on your device: http://oo.apple.com. If you are using an iOS6 device, you also may limit the delivery of tailored ads through the following process: Open Settings and tap “General” then tap “About”; Scroll to the bottom of About and tap “Advertising”; Flip “Limit Ad Tracking” to ON. If you are using an Android device and you do not wish to receive tailored in-application ads, you can visit Google’s Ads Preferences page from a browser on your device and make your choices there. We do not control how the applicable platform operator allows you to control receiving tailored in-application ads; thus, you should contact the platform provider if the above options are no longer available.
Third-party analytics companies
To opt out of Google Analytics, please go to https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. These opt-outs may be provided through the use of specific tracking opt-out cookies. Please note that if you get a new computer, install a new browser, or erase or otherwise alter your browser's cookie file (including upgrading certain browsers), this may also clear the opt-out cookie.
External data storage sites
We may store your data on servers provided by third party hosting vendors with whom we have contracted.
Your privacy responsibilities
To help protect your privacy, be sure:
not to share your user ID or password with anyone else;
to log off the Ballot website and applications when you are finished;
to take customary precautions to guard against “malware” (viruses, Trojan horses, bots, etc.) for example, by installing and updating suitable anti-virus software.
The website and applications have security measures in place to help protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. While we cannot guarantee that loss, misuse or alteration to data will not occur, Ballot uses industry standards, such as Secure Socket Layers ("SSL") technology, to help safeguard against such occurrences. In certain areas, the information passed between your browser and our system is encrypted with SSL technology to create a protected connection between you and our website and applications to ensure confidentiality. In the event that a breach into our security systems occurs and there is a possibility that an unauthorized person acquires your personal information, Ballot will notify you of such a breach under applicable law.
Your account is protected by a password for your privacy and security. You must prevent unauthorized access to your account and PII by selecting and protecting your password appropriately and limiting access to your computer or device and browser by signing off after you have finished accessing your account.
We endeavor to protect the privacy of your account and other PII we hold in our records, but unfortunately, we cannot guarantee complete security. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors, may compromise the security of user information at any time.
Notice to European Union users
Ballot’s operations are located primarily in the United States. If you provide information to us, the information will be transferred out of the European Union (EU) to the United States. By providing personal information to us, you are consenting to its storage and use as described herein.
Information collected from children
You must be at least 13 years old to use Ballot’s website and applications. Ballot does not knowingly collect information from children under 13. (See the [U.S.] Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.)
Questions or comments?
Thank you for using Ballot!
terms of service
Acceptance of Terms of Services
Changes to the Terms of Services and Website
Please note that the Website, Application, and Services are not directed at children under 13. We do not knowingly collect or solicit personally identifiable information from children under 13; if you are a child under 13, please do not attempt to register for the Website, Application or Services or send any personal information about yourself to us. If we learn we have collected personal information from a child under 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that a child under 13 may have provided us personal information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All content on the Website, Application, and Services including, but not limited to, text, graphics, logos, button icons, images, audio clips, digital downloads, trade dress, data compilations and software, and the compilation of such content (collectively, the “Services Content”) is the intellectual property of Ballot and our affiliates and is protected by United States and international copyright laws. You agree to abide by all copyright notices, trademark rules, information, and restrictions contained in any Services Content that you access through the Services. You will not use, copy, reproduce, modify, translate, publish, broadcast, transmit, distribute, perform, upload, display, license, sell or otherwise exploit for any purpose any Services Content not owned by you, (i) without the prior consent of the owner of that Services Content or (ii) in a way that violates someone else's rights.
The Services Content appearing on the Website, Application, and Services is also distinctive and protected trademarks or trade dress of Ballot and/or our affiliates. The Website, Application and Services may also contain various third-party names and marks that are the property of their respective owners.
Any unauthorized use of the Services Content or any other intellectual property, is strictly prohibited and may be prosecuted to the fullest extent that the law allows. For purposes of these Terms of Service, the term “Content” includes, without limitation, information, data, text, photographs, videos, audio clips, written posts and comments, software, scripts, graphics, and interactive features generated, provided, or otherwise made accessible on or through the Website. For the purposes of these Terms of Service, “Content” also includes all User Content (as defined below).
All Content added, created, uploaded, submitted, distributed, or posted to the Website by users (collectively “User Content”) whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, is the sole responsibility of the person who originated such User Content. You represent that all User Content provided by you is accurate, complete, up-to-date, and in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. You acknowledge that all Content, including User Content, accessed by you using the Website, Application, or Services is at your own risk and you will be solely responsible for any damage or loss to you or any other party resulting therefrom. We do not guarantee that any Content you access on or through the Website, Application, or Services is, or will continue to be, accurate.
By submitting public User Content through the Website, Application, or Services, you hereby do and shall grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, fully paid, sublicensable and transferable license to use, edit, modify, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, perform, and otherwise fully exploit the User Content in connection with the Website, Application, or Services and our (and our successors’ and assigns’) businesses, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Website, Application, and Services (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels (including, without limitation, third party websites and feeds). You also hereby do and shall grant each user of the Website, Application, or Services a non-exclusive, perpetual license to access your User Content through the Website, Application, and Services, and to use, edit, modify, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display and perform such User Content. For clarity, the foregoing license grants to us and our users does not affect your other ownership or license rights in your User Content, including the right to grant additional licenses to your User Content, unless otherwise agreed in writing. You represent and warrant that you have all rights to grant such licenses to us without infringement or violation of any third-party rights, including without limitation, any privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademarks, contract rights, or any other intellectual property or proprietary rights.
We do not guarantee that any Content, including User Content, will be made available on the Website, Application, or Services. We reserve the right to, but do not have any obligation to, (i) remove, edit or modify any Content in our sole discretion, at any time, without notice to you and for any reason (including, but not limited to, upon receipt of claims or allegations from third parties or authorities relating to such Content or if we are concerned that you may have violated these Terms of Service), or for no reason at all and (ii) to remove or block any Content from the Website, Application, or Services.
You are permitted to use the Website, Application, and Services for your personal, non-commercial use, or legitimate business purposes, provided that your activities are lawful and in accordance with these Terms of Service. Prohibited uses include violation of laws and regulations, hacking the Website, Application, or Services in any manner, or violating the Content Standards set below. No right, title or interest in or to the Website, Application, or Services or any content on the site is transferred to you, and all rights not expressly granted are reserved. Any use of the Website, Application, and Services not expressly permitted by these Terms of Service is a breach of these Terms of Service and can lead to account termination.
The Website, Application, and Services may contain Content specifically provided by us, our partners or our users, and such Content is protected by copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents, trade secrets or other proprietary rights and laws. You shall abide by and maintain all copyright notices, information, and restrictions contained in any Content accessed through the Website, Application, and Services.
All User Content must comply with applicable laws and be clear of viruses or other malware. More specifically, but without limiting the foregoing, it must comply with the following Content Standards:
Not contain any material which is defamatory, obscene, indecent, abusive, offensive, harassing, violent, hateful, inflammatory or otherwise objectionable;
Not promote sexually explicit or pornographic material, violence, or discrimination based on race, sex, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age;
Not infringe any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other intellectual property rights of any other person;
Not violate the legal rights (including the rights of publicity and privacy) of others or contain any material that could give rise to any civil or criminal liability under applicable laws or regulations or that otherwise may be in conflict with these Terms of Service;
Not be likely to deceive any person;
Not promote any illegal activity, or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act;
Not be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person or organization;
Not involve commercial activities or sales, such as contests, sweepstakes and other sales promotions, barter or advertising;
Not give the impression that they emanate from us or any other person or entity, if this is not the case;
Not used, if public, as test empty documents with no actual content, or typing exercises.
User Content is not intended to be legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship among the or between the users and Ballot. Use of the Website, Application, and Services should never be understood to be replacing use of a qualified attorney, and Ballot’s relationship to all documents and transactions completed using the Website, Application, and Services is that of a trusted, disinterested third party.
Third Party Websites
We are not responsible for, and have no control over, the contents of any sites linked to, referenced by, or accessible from the Website, Application, Services or any website that links to the Website, Application or Services. Any links or references are provided for your convenience and are not intended as an endorsement by Ballot or our affiliated organizations or a warranty of any type regarding any sites or the products, services, information or materials on any sites. Your linking to or otherwise visiting any other site is at your own risk, and we accept no liability for the contents, accuracy or currency of any other site. We assume no responsibility, and are not liable, for any transmission or material, or any viral infection of your computer equipment or software, or any other types of damage related to your access, use of or browsing in this or any other site.
Third Party Services
We encourage your feedback, in the form of reviews, comments, and suggestions or recommendations for modifications, improvements or changes to the Website, Application, or Services that you may choose in your sole discretion to provide from time to time (“Feedback”). When you provide Feedback, you grant us, under all right, title and interest in and to the Feedback, a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, transferable, sub-licensable, irrevocable, perpetual license to use that Feedback or to incorporate it into the Website, Application, or Services or other future products or services.
We do not undertake to review all material before it is posted on the Website, Application or Services and cannot ensure prompt removal of objectionable material after it has been posted. Accordingly, we assume no liability for any action or inaction regarding transmissions, communications or content provided by any user or third party. In the unlikely event we receive a disclosure request from an authorized party, we reserve the right to disclose user identities when required to do so by law, including in response to a law enforcement request supported by a valid court order. You waive and hold harmless Ballot and our affiliated organizations from any claims resulting from any action taken by Ballot and/or affiliated organizations during or as a result of its investigations and from any actions taken as a consequence of investigations by either Ballot, affiliated organizations, or law enforcement authorities.
If you believe that any User Content violates your copyright, please follow the procedure set forth by article 512(c) of the DMCA and provide us a written takedown notice including the following information:
A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material.
Information reasonably sufficient for us to contact you, such as email, address, telephone number.
A statement that you a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
The notice should be addressed to email@example.com to DMCA Designated Agent, c/o 400 K ST NW, UNIT 318, Washington, DC 20001.
The Website, Application, and Services are provided by Ballot on an “as is” basis. No warranty is offered or implied. We disclaim all warranties with respect to the Website, Application, and Services and to any information available on the Website, Application, and Services. This includes all implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. We make no warranty or representation regarding the results that may be obtained from the Website, Application, or Services or the accuracy or reliability of any information obtained from the Website, Application, or Services or that any information will meet any of your requirements. We make no warranty that your access to the Website, Application or Services will be uninterrupted, timely, secure or error-free. We are not responsible for the timeliness, deletion, lack of or erroneous delivery, or failure to store any of your communications.
You acknowledge and agree that your use of the Website, Application, or Services and any information or content available through the Website, Application, and Services is at your own discretion and risk. You are solely responsible for any damage to your computer system, mobile communication device, or loss of data that may result from your use of the Internet or your access or use of the Website, Application, or Services.
No advice or information, whether written or oral, obtained from us or from this Website, Application or Services creates any warranty.
In no event will Ballot or any of its officers, affiliates, directors, advisors, members, representatives, or agents be liable for any direct, indirect, punitive, special, incidental, exemplary, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever, including without limitation damages: (1) for loss of use, data, information, profits or business interruption; or (2) arising out of or in any way related to a) the use or performance of the Website, Application, Services or any linked site, b) any information obtained through the Website, Application, Services or any linked site, c) for the inability to use the Website, Application, or Services, or d) otherwise arising out of the use of the Website, Application or Services. This limitation applies whether based in tort, contract, negligence, strict liability or otherwise, and even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using the Website, Application, or Services.
Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so some of the above limitations may not apply to you.
We provide the Website, Application, and Services for use only by persons located in the United States. We make no claims that the Website, Application, Services or any of its content is accessible, appropriate or legal outside of the United States. If you access the Website, Application, or Services from outside the United States, you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws.
Governing Law and Jurisdiction
These Terms of Service and any dispute or claim arising out of, or related to them, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the internal laws of the State of Delaware without giving effect to any choice or conflict of law provision or rule.
Any legal suit, action or proceeding arising out of, or related to, these Terms of Service, the Website, Application, or Services shall be instituted exclusively in the federal courts of the United States or the courts of the State of Delaware.
Waiver and Severability
Our failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of the Terms of Service shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. The Terms of Service constitutes the entire agreement between you and Ballot and govern your use of the service, superseding any prior agreements (including, but not limited to, any prior versions of the Terms of Service). If any provision of these Terms of Service is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable for any reason, such provision shall be eliminated or limited to the minimum extent such that the remaining provisions of the Terms of Service will continue in full force and effect.