Voting Information Project (VIP)

Item Description
Current Status In Progress, Adopted by 20 states in 2010 election and by most states in 2012 election
Version Number v 5.1 spec
Key Contacts DemocracyWorks
Implementing Agencies Primarily state with some local election commissions
Founding/Sponsoring Organizations Pew Charitable Trusts, Google, DemocracyWorks


The idea for the Voting Information Project (VIP) came out of the election analysis report, “Being Online Is Not Enough”, produced by the Pew Charitable Trusts in 2008. One of the report's major findings was that providing on-demand access about voting information helps governments save money by reducing phone calls and visits by voters. Following the report, as a joint-effort between the Pew Charitable Trusts and Google, the VIP partnered with 9 states to provide pertinent voting information to citizens. In the 2010 election cycle, 20 states began contributing data feeds to the project. In 2018 Pew transferred the project to Democracy Works


The goal of the VIP is to engage voters and drive voter turnout by ultimately making voting information more accessible. In short, the goals of the VIP, such as to answer common voting questions like “Where is my polling place?” and “What’s on my ballot?” are very important, however the obstacles are very challenging. The main challenge is participation. States must voluntarily contribute voting data to the program through a machine readable format. Thus, getting buy-in from state election commissions is extremely important. In the 2012 election cycle, most states participated by contributing at least some of the data gathered by the VIP project.The VIP project itself does not disseminate information; it relies on developers to build applications to make the data easy to access.In addition, the Google Civic Information API has adopted VIP information as a way to connect voters with their polling place and other VIP information. Several interesting projects have come out of the VIP, and can be found here. They include a mobile application to estimate wait time at a polling place.

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