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electionlineWeekly — October 20, 2016

Table of Contents

 VI. Tech Thursday

National Tech: R/GA and the Ad Council have created a chat bot that interacts with users in real time on Facebook Messenger. GoVoteBot was designed to supply information to voters without partisanship. "Our desire is to get everyone in America out to vote," said Chloe Gottlieb, U.S. executive vice president and executive creative director of R/GA, in an email. "The voting experience is much too complex right now. As a design-focused agency, and since we work at the intersection of design, technology and storytelling, this was an obvious problem that we wanted to find a simpler solution for." R/GA and the Ad Council worked with US Vote Foundation and Google Civic to fill the bot with information.

National Tech: Late last week, Google unveiled another tool to help get out the vote for the upcoming November election. Users who search “who’s on my ballot,” and “where to vote” or similarly worded phrases will be prompted with information boxes breaking down candidate profiles. They will also see polling locations based on addresses they provide.

National Tech: Carpool2Vote is an app that allows users to sign up for a free “carpool” that provides a round-trip ride to their polling location on Election Day. “We really wanted to create an app that was 100% volunteer-based and free,” Thomas Cook, co-creator of the app told CBS Philly. The app, which works nationwide, links riders with nearby volunteer drivers and uses a bar-code authentication system for safety. Riders can take a photo of the drivers bar-code; the app matches the riders to the correct driver, and the carpool can commence.

Alabama: Twenty-five Alabama counties will test tablets for voter check-in during the upcoming November election. The program is being tested in counties were both the county commission and probate judge approved the usage. The tablets will be in a handful of polling places in each county.

Oregon: The secretary of state’s office and Douglas County are offering voters new technology to allow them to track the delivery and receipt of their ballot. BallotTrax allows voters to sign up for the service and receive alert messages via text, phone or email. Messages will be sent when ballots are mailed to the voter and when the return ballot is accepted for counting.