Hacks for Democracy: elections hackathon features six projects - Technical.ly Philly

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Sep. 17, 2012 10:54 am

Hacks for Democracy: elections hackathon features six projects

Six projects came out of this weekend’s Hacks for Democracy, but the event isn’t over yet. In an effort to better coalesce the teams and ideas, the team at Azavea, the GIS shop that has helped build its business around good government efforts, has scheduled a series of followups. The participating groups will be encouraged […]

The Hacks for Democracy 'State Gov Tracker' team, which aimed to create a tool to aggregate social, news and legislative information about Pa. state legislators. In front Andrew Thompson, from Azavea. From L to R: Christopher Nies, Charlie Milner, Lauren Gilchrist, Jason Blanchard and Christopher Brown.

Six projects came out of this weekend’s Hacks for Democracy, but the event isn’t over yet.

In an effort to better coalesce the teams and ideas, the team at Azavea, the GIS shop that has helped build its business around good government efforts, has scheduled a series of followups. The participating groups will be encouraged to come to followup hack evenings on Sept. 17, Sept. 24 and Oct 1, with final judging Oct. 5.

Both in Callowhill, Azavea and incubator Venturef0rth split hosting the weekend event, which started with dozens at a packed Friday evening reception and ended with 20 technologists pitching on Sunday. Find the six projects below.

Faye Anderson of Yo! Philly Votes in Venturef0rth, with Joseph Tricarico at left and Bennett Huber at right, both of Azavea. Adam Hinz is to the right, but, you know, he didn’t fit in the photo.

In the first round of judging, first place was given to Yo! Philly Votes, a project aiming to crowdsource polling problems that elections activist Faye Anderson first brought to the fore at April’s News Hackathon and first built at June’s Random Hacks. Second place honors were given to VoterID.me, a web app to list state voter ID legislation, and local political leader connection tool Electory was given third place.

The list of the projects, as described by Azavea:

  1. [First] Yo! Philly Votes: Crowdsourced election protection w/ Ushahidi
  2. [Second] VoterID.me: Mobile/Social-friendly Voter ID requirements based on location
  3. [Third] Electory: Breaking down machine politics w/ better info about neighborhood political leaders, which included hackathon regulars Mjumbe Poe, Tim Wisniewski and Chris Alfano.
  4. SEPTA & Reps: Notifying stakeholders about transit changes
  5. State Gov Tracker: Dashboard for tracking state gov officials
  6. Undecideds: Big Data visualization of voting behavior

Below, see a wrap up presentation from Azavea founder Robert Cheetham.

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Christopher Wink

Christopher Wink is a cofounder and Editorial Director of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. In that capacity, he is a co-organizer of Philly Tech Week, Baltimore Innovation Week, Delaware Innovation Week and other events that bring smart people together. Previously, Wink worked for a homeless advocacy nonprofit and was a freelance reporter for a variety of publications. He writes regularly about news innovation and best business practices on his personal blog here and curates a personal monthly newsletter of ideas and links here. The bicycle commuter loves cities, urban politics and squabbling about neighborhood boundaries.

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