the prototype

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

We wanted a registration process that was easy but provided enough information for Ballot to be useful. Users are able to create an account with an email address, password, and their address. We use their address to refine the list of candidates to only those on their upcoming ballot.

review candidates

After signing-up, a user can view the list of candidates on their ballot for the upcoming election. The candidate list is organized by elected office and displays a picture, name, and party affiliation for each candidate. Users can sort by office or view their entire ballot at a glance.

Candidate profiles

Users can learn more about a candidate by selecting a candidate's profile. The full candidate profile displays their name, picture, office, and party affiliation. The candidate profile also includes a 250-word biography and links to the candidate's website and social media for more information. Each candidate profile is created by the candidate (or their campaign) and published upon verification that the candidate is in good standing with the board of elections.

matching quiz

For deeper insight into their candidate options, users can answer a series of "yes" or "no" questions about local issues. The questions are sourced from local civic, nonprofit, and political organizations. Candidates are invited to response to the same questions when they create their profiles. User answers are used to measure political compatibility between a user and the candidates on his/her ballot. The higher the percentage match, the better political alignment.