By Executive Order: new TurboVote easier than playing Operation.

In 2010, we launched TurboVote to provide a simpler, easier voting experience. Since that launch, we’ve learned a lot – about voting rules, election administrators, and our voters themselves – and applied those lessons back to the work of building a better, modernized democratic process.

After the 2014 midterm election, we began rebuilding TurboVote from scratch, the better to integrate everything we’d learned. With the collaboration of our partners, users, and friends, we’ve spent the last year and a half defining the simplest, easiest possible voting experience. On March 7, we switched to the new application. At the beginning of June, we began transitioning our early-adopter partners to TurboVote 2.0.

Then, last Monday, BuzzFeed launched their Turn Up To Vote week as the first 2.0-native TurboVote partner. You might have seen their PSA about “Five Things that are Harder than Registering to Vote,” and you might have heard the President of the United States invite people to visit (If you haven’t watched it yet, you should. We’ll wait.)

It was quite the coming-out party.

So now that we’ve served our first few (thousands) of voters on TurboVote 2.0, it’s time to give it a proper introduction to our closest friends and supporters. If you’re not into all the nerdy details, feel free to stop here.

More elections, more local info
To start, TurboVote 2.0 is built on an entirely new data model, one that lets us define elections using a wider variety of jurisdiction types thanks to Open Civic Data Division Identifiers. It also lets us set election rules not only by state but also by locality, for those times when one county does things just a little bit differently than everywhere else.

Opening up
TurboVote 2.0 runs on a series of microservices that each handle one thing (voter registration, notifications, election authorities) and handle it very very well. Going forward, we’ll be able to share these with our partners, allowing other groups to remix and reimagine voter engagement, whether through testing variations on the TurboVote tool, or in completely different applications. If you’d like to poke around, most of these components are open-source and published on our GitHub account.

A better user experience
Though it looks familiar enough, we also reimagined the TurboVote workflow, taking into account frequently asked questions, user research, and partner input. And we’re already seeing significantly higher sign-up rates compared to the original TurboVote tool.

THANK YOU to everyone whose feedback, testing, and support contributed to this launch. We’re excited by how much better we’re able to serve our voters, and all the ways this will help us continue to improve the voting experience.

Brandon Naylor