DemLabs blog

Map of early voting and drop box locations.

Early voting has started! Find the nearest early voting location or dropbox in North Carolina and Michigan with these free maps.

See how Map My Vote and DemLabs collect, organize and share info through early voting maps for North Carolina and Michigan, with more states planned. These maps:
- Make it easy for voters to find early voting locations and drop boxes by phone or computer
- Provide location, hours, contact info and driving instructions
- Collect and update information quickly with few volunteers
- Easily share the information through social media and through other websites
- Will include other states as soon as early voting locations are made public
Find out if your state allow early voting here with this handy guide from Vote.org

Vote early where possible advises Barack Obama.

Map of early voting dropbox locations in Michigan

Designing useful maps

Maps are wonderful in quickly conveying a lot of information so it is easy to understand. But it is challenging to handle hundreds of early voting resources, of different types (drop boxes, early voting locations, board of elections offices) with different opening hours. How do you provide locally relevant, detailed information so that it is easy to search? How do you keep the information current? How do you all this quickly, with no staff and no budget?

DemLabs chose these apps to solve this challenge for their features, price and ability to handle large amounts of data and users.
Google Sheets to collect and organize the data
ArcGIS Online to create the map
Glide Apps to create the mobile app
Google Maps to find driving directions
The benefit of this design was that multiple volunteers could collect and simultaneously enter details on the early voting locations. Once the data is entered into Google Sheets, it is automatically ingested by ArcGIS and GLIDE to generate map. Information is collected by Map My Vote and stored in this format:

How information on early voting data is organized.

Design apps for use on phones

It's vital to design apps for use on phones, as that's where most searches are made. Organizing the information by state, county and then the location makes it easier for voters to quickly narrow their search. Details such as the address, opening hours, contact information and driving directions are provided once a location is chosen.

Mobile app with details of drop boxes in Michigan.

Make it easy to share information

It has to be easy for other organizations and individuals to share details on early voting locations in order to get the maximum possible distribution.

Michigan
Link to the map https://arcg.is/fie4L0 which can be shared by email, text or social media.
Code to embed map in website: < iframe width="300" height="200" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen src="https://arcg.is/fie4L0">
Link to mobile app https://mapmyvote.glideapp.io/

North Carolina
Link to map https://arcg.is/0GCzim
Code to embed map in website < iframe width="300" height="200" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen src="https://arcg.is/0GCzim">

Map of early voting locations in North Carolina

Takeaway: Make it easy to vote early by getting voters the info they need. Now!

Deepak
DemLabs

Image Credit: Jamie Templeton on Unsplash

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