DemLabs blog

Keep them honest

"Photograph poll tapes at the polling place on election night and check the vote totals against the official vote totals to catch erroneous election results." - Scrutineers

Voting rights advocates and legal groups need the results quickly and in detail. How can different grassroots groups and volunteers using different apps combine their efforts to provide better results and avoid duplicating effort? Data consolidation.

Data silos

Experts have a much harder time when the information they need (such as poll tape results) is scattered across different information silos. It is much harder to analyze, find errors and demand corrective action. It's much easier when information is consolidated into a single database of both poll tape photos and videos along with where and when they were taken. Organizers and grassroots volunteers can choose from many different solutions to collect this information. SeeSay2020 can be used to report instances of voter suppression, as well as take pictures of the poll tapes.

Photos and videos stay in their existing locations, but a single catalog is created which lists all photos by precinct, county and state. This makes it easy to find the photo you are looking for and reduces the chances of multiple volunteers taking photos of the same poll tape. Think of it as a central catalog at the library to help you quickly find the book you are looking for.

Streamlined system to make it easy to store photos of poll tapes into a single catalog making them easier to find.


This system has both photos submitted through SeeSay2020 and external partners. Different groups and volunteers add details of their poll tape photos into an online catalog which automatically refreshes the ArcGIS Online map. Submissions from different groups are shown on the map with different color dots. Only the record details (not the actual photo or videos) are stored in the Google Sheet. Clicking on a dot shows details, photos and videos. 

The map includes state, county and precinct boundaries. Bookmarks can be set up to go straight to an area of interest.
The map can be embedded into a website with this one line of code < iframe width="300" height="200" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen src=""> making it easier voting rights advocates to access.

Streamlined approach to find poll tape photos collected by different groups and volunteers.
This poll tape video was recorded with DemocracyCounts.


- The county and precinct boundaries appear as you zoom into the map.
- Bookmarks can be created to quickly zoom into a county / precinct of interest.
- Images can be downloaded directly from the map with a right click.
- Sharing icons to make it easier to share the map through Twitter and Facebook.

Uploading poll tape photo with SeeSay2020

SeeSay2020 can be used to report incidents of voter intimidation and also upload

Takeaway: Photograph poll tapes to improve the accuracy of vote counts. Combine resources to get results faster and avoid duplicating work.


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DemLabs applies innovative technology and storytelling tools in service of democratic values. It lowers the barrier of funding for worthy candidates and non-profits by applying existing free/affordable solutions.