Electronic voting may still be only a distant possibility, but electronic ballots and voter information are readily available on any device, and, as of last week, on the Valley Record website.
On Thursday, Oct. 12, in partnership with Snoqualmie businessman Bryan Finney, CEO ofDemocracy Live, the Valley Record launched a Live Ballot app on our website, at http://www.valleyrecord.com/ballot.
The app is an extension of Democracy Live’s Live Ballot tools, which bring online voting technology to members of the military serving overseas during elections.
Overseas, Live Ballot provides each voter, after they enter their home address, with detailed information about each candidate and ballot measure that their voter registration allows them to vote on. Stateside, the app doesn’t doesn’t give you the option to actually cast your vote, but it does everything else.
“The idea is that voters can go to your site, they can get the ballot information specific to them, they can print it out, they can share it,” said Finney.
The ballot displayed in the app will show all of the candidates and initiatives you can vote on, based on the address you enter, along with links to View and Recommend. Click View to find a compilation of websites and data from Google web searches and, if the candidates responded to Live Ballot requests for additional information, candidate-provided details about their background, experience and endorsements. Click Recommend to share a comment about the candidate via the social media outlet of your choice.
There’s a Notes feature, you can use to enter plain text notes on candidates and a ballot-marking feature, too. Click the star to the right of a candidate’s name to mark your vote. Click it again if you made a mistake. Then you can print out your marked ballot as a reference for filling out your official King County ballot.
Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen, too. That’s where the most important races, are, the down-ballot people and initiatives that actually served as inspiration when Finney began working on the electronic balloting app.
“Down-ballot” races, Finney explained, are “the races that matter most to us — school board, city council, judges… and yet we don’t always know these candidates, so we vote because we see a yard sign.”
With detailed candidate information readily available, you can make each vote more meaningful.