by Sarah Moncelle, SCSJ Researcher
Recognizing that new technology has revolutionized the way we share data, Southern Coalition for Social Justice has launched Election Collection, a data gathering initiative that uses a location-based mobile data collection app to document, track, and rapidly respond to voting irregularities and instances of voter suppression at polling places nationwide for the 2014 General Election. The app’s design was guided by community geography principals and is directly informed by the array of needs communicated by litigators, organizers and researchers in attendance at the inaugural convening of the Southern Leaders for Voter Engagement in May of this year.
Election Collection is a free app designed to help voting rights advocates record instances of voter suppression for use by election protection volunteers as well as voting rights litigators, social scientists, and other voting rights advocates. This app allows users to nimbly relay the status of Election Day events in real time to both in-house legal response teams and to fellow volunteers on the ground. On Election Day, trained volunteers will be able to log in to personalized accounts and record incidents of voter suppression using its listed forms. The intuitive app is easy to navigate as it follows a simple design that should be familiar to those who have ever filled out a form on a website. Volunteers can select from a wide range of text fields, drop-down menus, multiple-selection buttons, and photo and audio file attachments to relate a highly accurate and comprehensive account of voter suppression events.