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.