August 11, 2016
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School
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This collection of resources related to electoral politics in the United States is curated by the staff of the Government Innovators Network. Please visit our Electoral Politics page for more resources.

Election Toolkits

2016 Election Toolkit: A Broadcaster's Guide to Getting Out the Vote from the National Association of Broadcasters.

The Election Toolkit from the Center for Technology and Civic Life is an online library of tech resources, including tools like a Twitter guide, a free app to measure voter wait times, tools for publishing real-time election results, and a collection of civic icons. All of the tools in the Toolkit are either free or low-cost and come paired with step-by-step instructions, making them usable by any election official, regardless of their budget or technical ability.

Voting Technology Project Toolkit from MIT and Caltech: This website offers tools based on the expertise of election administrators, business managers, and social science researchers that can help election administrators plan and conduct elections.

Guides and Reports

The American Voting Experience: Report and Recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

Election Central: An Educational Guide to the US Elections from PBS. It’s an Election year and PBS Education has created tools, resources, and creative solutions to educate your students on the various facets of the political process. With content to educate your students on the process and history of elections including campaigning, local impact of national issues, how the Electoral College works, fast facts and an interactive, activity-based map, these tools help turn news coverage into learning opportunities.

Election Management Resources from the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC). One of EAC’s top priorities is assisting election officials. EAC has issued guidance, advisories, and best practices to help officials comply with HAVA and make other election administration improvements and enhancements. You'll find some of our most popular resources in this section, including the Election Management Guidelines chapters, the Quick Start Guide brochures, and information on how to design ballots and other voting materials. EAC also provides many voting materials, such as voter guides and election terminology glossaries, in up to 11 languages. EAC provides all of these resources to states free of charge.

Federal Voting Assistance Program for Election Officials. These resources provide state and local election officials with the information and tools needed to assist voters covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). UOCAVA citizens are absent US citizens who are active members of the Uniformed Services, the Merchant Marines, and the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, their eligible family members, and US citizens residing outside the United States.

National Conference of State Legislatures:

  • NCSL tracks election and campaign issues in four major categories: campaign finance, election laws, technology and procedures, election results and analysis, and initiative and referendum. NCSL provides comprehensive 50-state research and analysis on a wide variety of topics related to these issues.
  • The Elections Administration Research Database contains elections administration reports published between 2000 and the present. The reports span a range of topics from election costs to voter ID to online voter registration and reflect a variety of perspectives, ranging from election administrators to nonprofit organizations to academic researchers. Each report has been coded by subject, title, author, publication, date, and state and can be searched by one or a combination of these features.

Pew Trusts Resources on Election Administration. The right to vote depends on the ability to vote. For democracy to function properly, local, state, and federal governments must foster an election system that achieves the highest standards of accuracy, convenience, efficiency, and security.  This requires nonpartisan research that examines the most pressing election problems as well as efforts to help states improve election administration. Pew works with state and local officials, the private sector, and others to identify and implement efficient, cost-effective solutions to voter registration issues, voting information obstacles, and election performance.

Rock the Vote: Online Voter Registration Platform. Rock the Vote’s Online Voter Registration (OVR) platform provides a simple solution for modern voter registration. Since its inception, the platform has registered over six million new voters. In 2012, Rock the Vote began offering its white label tool and API to partners. It has been a trusted resource for more than a decade, with a proven track record of accessibility, security and partner support. The platform is mobile-friendly, available in 13 languages, and approved by the Presidential Commission for Election Administration. Most importantly, it’s available to partners at no charge.

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