Putting Local Election Ballot Information Online
It’s simple: the more informed we are, the more likely we are to participate in elections. Guided by this fact, scholars at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs engaged a coalition of nonprofit, business, and city government leaders in NYC to help close the public’s information gap in local elections. Their vision? A new online resource that would fulfill a crucial need in NYC’s election landscape. With a rough prototype in place and just a few short weeks until the next local election, Columbia turned to Constructive to help them swiftly turn their vision into a reality.
How can we make election data feel more accessible?
While our digital team was looking under the hood of Columbia’s prototype to understand how it functioned, our design team created a visual identity that set the tone—big and bold, populist, and with a contemporary take on classic election campaign design.
How do we make sure we deliver content voters need quickly?
As a focused tool for educating voters, many of whom would likely be looking for quick information on their local election. Our content strategy and information architecture prioritized this need with a streamlined, high-utility experience that makes accessing targeted election information easy and intuitive. Launching in time for upcoming November elections, this strategic layout distinguished Who’s on the Ballot? as a relevant resource of local election information.
Accessing Data on a Deadline
Who’s on the Ballot? follows through on the brand’s visual identity, extending it for utility with iconography that increases accessibility for people with different backgrounds. Technically, a major obstacle to overcome was that NYC.gov’s website—home to the Board of Elections’ vital election information—lacked an API providing access to its database. To deliver on Columbia’s tight deadline, we developed a custom “screen scraper” that pulls election data needed from NYC.gov’s HTML pages. Following the election season, we then rebuilt the backend when an API was available for us to connect to NYC.gov’s database
Years after being launched, Who’s on the Ballot? remains a trusted, sought-after resource for New York City voters to easily access local election information.
How can we help turn out the vote?
To raise awareness of this new resource available to New Yorkers and help mobilize more of them to vote in local elections, we created a cross-media advertising campaign. TargetingWho’s on the Ballot worked with Pilobolus to create unique visuals that encouraged New Yorkers from every neighborhood to get out and vote.
Our Client's Experience
It’s been a pleasure to work with Constructive. We approached them with a unique set of design and functional requirements and an extremely aggressive implementation schedule. They worked closely with us to meet our needs and deliver on schedule. The final product says it all: an elegantly simple design that emphasizes usability over flair to effectively meet our goals.