Hackathon aims to improve voter experience in NYC

18 July 2013 | Andy Pitman, Microsoft eGovernment Solutions

Earlier this year, I posted a blog entry discussing the role of the cloud in helping local governments manage and track their election activity.  An example of this is the work Microsoft is currently doing with the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Voting Information Project (VIP).  In 2008, VIP launched cutting-edge technology tools to provide access to customized election information to help voters cast a ballot.  Microsoft was proud to join the project in 2011. VIP provides election information to voters by allowing states to share official election information including polling locations, registration deadlines, and ballot information across both web and mobile platforms. Therefore, when Election Day is upon us, voters are prepared to make informed decisions and are able to get answers to questions such as “Where do I vote? What issues are on the ballot?  What do I need to bring with me to vote?”

Today I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft continues its partnership with Pew and the VIP project as a sponsor of the first-ever New York City hackathon August 2nd and 3rd at AlleyNYC in midtown Manhattan. This event is reaching out to developers and designers in the greater New York City area to help generate socially innovative applications that will improve the voting experience for the 2013 primary and general elections, including the city’s mayoral race.

Microsoft and Pew encourage elections-interested technologists to register for and join this hackathon.  The Friday evening event will include a presentation regarding usage of Microsoft provided APIs and platform, including Windows Azure, and will also announce a prize for best usage of Microsoft technologies. On Saturday, Microsoft is sponsoring a pizza lunch for hackathon participants.  It promises to be fun for attendees, bringing together creative minds to share ideas, experiment and learn from one another, and encourage the development and design of innovative new tools to improve the voter experience in New York City and beyond. 

Whether you can make it or not on August 2-3, you can follow the action on Twitter @VotingInfo and share your thoughts using #VIPHackathon.

Andy Pitman
Microsoft eGovernment Solutions

About the Author

Andy Pitman | Microsoft eGovernment Solutions

Andy is focused on helping government customers improve the efficiency and quality of their technology. He works with customers and partners to develop innovations in areas such as information fusion centers, elections, records management, and more. Read more