This article was originally published on the Voting Information Project's (VIP) blog on July 17, 2023.
We are excited to share the winners of our second biannual VIP Partner Awards, celebrating the hard work of election offices throughout the 2022 midterm election cycle. State election offices lead the monumental task of facilitating elections. VIP is proud to partner with more than 40 state election offices to help them communicate with voters and combat the spread of mis-, dis-, and malinformation by publishing their voting location data. Through their participation in VIP, these nonpartisan public servants increased access to election information for millions of voters.
To help account for the many ways our state partners go above and beyond, winners were selected in four categories. Congratulations to these partners, and to all election office staff across the country for their work throughout 2022!
The Nevada Secretary of State Elections Division
FOR THEIR COMMITMENT TO WORKING WITH THE VIP TEAM TO MAKE STRIDES IN IMPROVING THEIR DATA
In preparation for the 2022 elections, the Nevada Secretary of State Elections Division upgraded their VIP file to our latest data specification. Their team also submitted early vote and ballot drop-off locations as additional data components, and diligently reviewed these to ensure their accuracy.
Now, the Nevada Elections Division is making further improvements to incorporate those early vote and drop-off locations directly into their VIP file. This streamlined data submission will reduce processing time and maximize the number of Nevada voters that are able to find their voting locations through VIP. In addition, earlier this year, they worked with our team to publish voting location data for local special elections for the first time. Their office’s commitment to improving their VIP data will help more Nevada voters access official information about more elections.
“Democracy only works because of the public employees who dedicate themselves to ensuring voters can make their voices heard,” said Nevada Secretary of State Francisco Aguilar. “Nevada runs some of the best elections in the country thanks to the integrity of the former Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, Deputy Secretary for Elections Mark Wlaschin and the entire elections staff. I'm proud their hard work is being recognized!”
The North Carolina State Board of Elections
FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE VIP 6 PILOT PROGRAM AND COMMITTING TO GEO-ENABLED ELECTIONS
How do we match a residential address to its correct polling location? In the past, election officials – and VIP’s data format – have relied on ranges of street addresses paired with voting precincts. In recent years, election offices have been modernizing their systems by using geospatial data. This information allows each address to appear as a pin on a map and for precincts to be drawn as a shape on the map. All the addresses within a specific shape are included in that precinct.
In 2022, we ran a pilot program to take our most recent data specification and work with select election offices to incorporate their precinct shapes into their VIP data. The North Carolina State Board of Elections was a key participant in the pilot, providing assistance and feedback throughout the process.
This geo-enabled data can allow many more voters to find their information through VIP, particularly in rural areas and areas that may have non-standard street addresses. The ongoing assistance of the North Carolina team throughout the pilot helped make it a success. Thanks to their efforts, we have been able to start working with numerous other election offices to incorporate their geospatial information into their VIP data.
The Oklahoma State Election Board
FOR THEIR COMMITMENT TO PROVIDING TIMELY AND CONSISTENT DATA
Anyone who works in elections will tell you: elections happen all the time – not just every four years. And this is certainly the case in Oklahoma! In the midst of all the work they do to successfully administer numerous elections each year, the team at the State Election Board consistently and promptly provides, reviews, and approves early vote and polling location data for publication with VIP.
In 2021, we published data for 11 elections in Oklahoma. In 2022, we published data for six elections – the primary and general election, along with four others. We’ve already published data for seven Oklahoma elections this year!
Their team’s ongoing partnership allows Oklahoma voters to access official election information throughout every calendar year, anywhere our dataset is utilized.
The Wyoming Secretary of State Elections Division
FOR EFFECTIVELY UTILIZING THE VOTING INFORMATION TOOL AS A PRIMARY OR BACKUP POLLING LOCATION LOOKUP TOOL
VIP’s free Voting Information Tool offers trusted voting information to anyone, using just a residential address. While the tool is available via a standalone website, election offices also have the option to customize and embed the tool on their website.
The Wyoming Elections Division utilized the tool as a polling place locator as part of their efforts to keep voters informed in 2022. Their team worked closely with us to ensure it displayed accurate information for anyone across the state. Embedded on their website, it provided Wyoming voters with an easy way to locate their polling location, get contact information for state and local election officials, and view the statewide contests on their ballot.
Learn more about the tool at votinginfoproject.org/projects.
Congratulations again to our 2023 winners! We look forward to our continued partnerships and serving voters by amplifying official election information.
Learn more about the VIP Partner Awards and our 2021 awardees.