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Election-Day App Makers, More Tools Have Arrived

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, October 18 2012

Google's Civic Information API is now live in 15 states for Election Day polling locations, and early voting information for 13 states will be added Thursday night, according to an e-mail from Patrick Ruffini, president of Engage, to the Voting Information Project.

The API allows developers to build applications to display information such as polling places, early voting locations, candidate data and election official information.

Most of the data offered through the API is published by election officials through the Voting Information Project. About 35 to 40 states plan to provide an official feed of polling location data, while a subset of 20 to 25 will provide official candidate data for at least part of the ballot. The data is beginning to appear on state-by-state basis this week, with the majority available by October 24, and will continue to be added and updated up until Election Day. The API was launched last month to make more data more easily accessible to developers, based on information that had previously been available through the Voting Information Project and Ballot Information Project.

The Voting Information Project is a collaborative effort backed by the Pew Center for the States that includes staff from the Republican-leaning firm Engage and the progressive New Organizing Institute to focus on making day Election Day data more accessible. Via Google, the project makes an embeddable Voting Information Tool available to websites, and is also partnering with Facebook, Foursquare, Microsoft and AT&T, which recently launched a Voterhub, a mobile web application.

Beginning tonight, early voting location locations will be added for Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The API is also returning election day polling places for Alaska, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

This piece has been updated to correct the first reference to the group publishing much of the data offered through the API, it Is the Voting Information Project, not the Voter Information Project