Got data?

Question: "Why is it so difficult for me to get my hands on data to help me decide how to best manage my volunteer time"?

Answer: It's slightly complicated, but we have a way to simplify the issue.

First, voter data is actually available both through your county election board, as well as your state board of elections. These authorities provide downloadable text files free of charge on their websites, and, for a fee, on a CD. However, this data is more or less unusable in this form. It is just one big dump of text. Moreover in counties with large populations, the average person may not even be able to open these large text files without specialized software. (Early in our project to organize NC voter data we realized that the combined weight of data of votes in Mecklenburg, Wake and Guilford counties bent MS Access way out of shape. We had to move to a more "enterprise level" technology platform). To summarize, managing the volume of data in voter files is obstacle no.1. 

Second, if you manage build a database app to makes sense of and organize your voter data, this app you've created is legally considered an asset with considerable monetary value. Sharing this data with people working on a campaign falls under the purview of campaign finance laws because, remember, giving this organized data to someone is considered a campaign donation, and must be accounted for as such. The imperative to remain legally compliant slows down the democratic impulse to share what is essentially started out as publicly available data.

For an overwhelming majority of people, an obstacle like this completely shuts down initiatives to share data to organize more effectively. 

This is why when you volunteer for a campaign and you want a walk list, it is kinda like pulling teeth to actually get your data. And the data you do get is hemmed in and un-shareable.

Consequently, we have spent a large portion of our time figuring out issues of legal compliance when it comes to sharing data that is essential to organizing effectively.

 

Talk data to me!

Solution: We want to bridge the gap between organizers' need for a voter information / outreach tracking system, and data that is stuck behind paywalls.

We provide voter information data, basic analytics of voting behaviors, and mobilization process metrics at the level of the precinct to help organizers better track their efforts at registering new voters, mobilizing inactive voters, and networking with active voters to bolster turnout in the 2018 mid-term. And most important, we can do this in compliance with campaign finance, and privacy laws.

If you're an individual unaffiliated with a campaign and would like to participate in this effort as a concerned citizen / permanent resident of North Carolina, please send an email to srinath@paccpac.com.

We are focusing on the following counties, because we believe these are the places we can make the most impact. The analysis behind this rationale comes from the group FlipNC.

Wake  Mecklenburg  Wilson  Pitt  Haywood  Jackson   | Swain 

Ashe  |  Watauga

 

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