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“Hackathon” Takes On Absentee Voting For Soldiers

Sunday, December 20th, 2009


This last weekend the Sunlight Foundation’s Sunlight Labs hosted the Great American Hackathon. The idea was to bring developers and coders together in an attempt to develop open source applications to solve open government problems.

One promising project that emerged from the weekend event was a project relating to the Voting Information Project that attempts to make it easier for soldiers to vote absentee overseas. TechPresident provides insight:

One neat little outgrowth of this weekend’s Great American Hackathon…is a widget in the works that — driven by state and local election data from the rather promising Voting Information Project — would spit out what’s called a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot for military members living overseas, customized for their home voting location. If it works, it could help to simplify a process that can be enormously complex. In recent U.S. elections, American soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere have run into real trouble (a) getting their ballots, (b) getting them in on time, and (c) staying in compliance with local election laws. It’s encouraging to see open data and collaboration going to helping those folks exercise their well-earned vote.

You can read more about the Great American Hackathon on the Sunlight Foundation Blog and also check out the Voting Information Project.

Joe Trippi is a Why Tuesday? advisory board member. This post was first published at JoeTrippi.com.

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