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Mobile Elections - A Story of Citizen Engagement, Partnerships and Panic!

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Collin County IT collaborated with our Elections Office to provide a solution to address long line waits during popular elections. The Elections Office needed an answer to alleviate long voter line waits without giving the impression that voters were being sent away from a polling site. The IT staff learned that it is a violation of voter laws to send people from a polling location – even if it is to help out the voter. How do you inform voters that they can vote at another location with a shorter line without explicitly telling them? The solution – strategically placed QR Codes that show the closest polling location and the approximate line wait time on the voter’s mobile device. The voter can then chose for themselves to leave their place in a long line to seek out shorter one.

This presentation tells the story of upgrading software and developing a new version of our Voter Line Wait app two (2) weeks prior to a major Election.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Mobile Elections - A Story of Citizen Engagement, Partnerships and Panic!

  1. 1. A Story of Citizen Engagement, Partnerships and Panic!
  2. 2. SCAUG 2015 2 Tim Nolan, Collin County Michael Parma, GISi Gabi Voicu, Collin County
  3. 3.  Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex  Population – 942,063 (Source: Collin Co GIS – Apr 07, 2015)  Highly Educated, Affluent and Mobile  Citizen Engagement is Difficult for Texas Counties  Elections are our “High Water Mark" SCAUG 2015 3
  4. 4.  HB 758 – 79th Texas Legislature ◦ Vote Centers or “Super Precincts” ◦ Electronic Poll Books ◦ Lubbock Co as the original pilot study  HB 719 – 81st Texas Legislature ◦ Four Counties – including Collin Co ◦ 1st Collin Co Vote Center Election  November 3, 2009 ◦ 2nd Vote Center Election  November 2, 2010  To date: 19 Counties Participate SCAUG 2015 4
  5. 5. Must mean something important SCAUG 2015 5 What’s up with the RED text on the last slide
  6. 6.  Federal Mid-Term Election  Huge Voter Turnout  1st True Test of Collin Co Vote Centers SCAUG 2015 6
  7. 7. SCAUG 2015 7
  8. 8.  How do we get the word out about Vote Centers?  How can we reduce long voter lines?  How do we go mobile?  Can we use QR Codes?  Can we have a solution by Nov 2012? SCAUG 2015 8
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  10. 10. Version 1 SCAUG 2015 10
  11. 11. 11SCAUG 2015
  12. 12. SCAUG 2015 12 bit.ly/CBSQRCode
  13. 13. SCAUG 2015 13 Voter Dashboard v1
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  17. 17.  New Esri Architecture  Current Environment is “remarkably average.”  Consolidate our GIS Servers  Utilize Collin Co Infrastructure (DMZ, F5, etc)  JSAPI Interactive Maps SCAUG 2015 17
  18. 18.  JSAPI – many upgrades  Lots of baggage ◦ JSAPI version ◦ Dojo version ◦ Esri version ◦ Custom code  Will the “Print” button work SCAUG 2015 18
  19. 19.  Configuration Recommendations – Esri ◦ 3-Day Onsite ◦ Deliverable: Report  Jumpstart Service Package (10.2) – GISi ◦ 3-Day Onsite ◦ Deliverable: Software Upgrade SCAUG 2015 19
  20. 20.  VLW v1 Does NOT work in 10.2  Ultimatum ◦ Rollback or Redesign ◦ 11/2 Days Redesign Effort  VLW v2 NOT Ready for Prime Time  Collin Co Infrastructure Issues ◦ IT Audit Concerns  Federal Mid-Term Election is a Month Away ◦ Tick-tock, Tick-tock… SCAUG 2015 20
  21. 21.  Redline VLW v2 Project with Purchasing ◦ Clock is Ticking – Cannot Reschedule the Election  Hire GISi to Complete VLW v2 ◦ 2nd Engagement ◦ Consulting Services - Remote  Responsive Design is a MUST  Ready App for Election Day ◦ …and Early Voting if Possible SCAUG 2015 21
  22. 22.  IT Audit Compliance ◦ Internal vs External  Webserver ◦ DMZ vs Reverse Proxy  A Wedding  GISi Unable to Recreate Issues/Problems  And this… SCAUG 2015 22
  23. 23.  Configuration Problems  Missed Early Voting  Running Low on Contract Hours  Extremely Late System Configuration  Prepping to use VLW v1 on Old System ◦ No New Technology SCAUG 2015 23
  24. 24.  Getting the “Unable to load proxy” Error ◦ After 5p prior to Election Day  Mon Nov 3rd (9:27p) email to GISi  GISi Finally Sees the Proxy Error ◦ 5:24a Election Day  Pre-Dawn Troubleshooting with GISi 24SCAUG 2015
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  26. 26.  Reverse Proxy Webserver  Change “rateLimit” setting in the Proxy Config ◦ Max Number of Requests in Period of Time ◦ 6  30  100  200 …seriously! ◦ Thank you, Katie! SCAUG 2015 26
  27. 27.  Reverse Proxy Webserver  Change “rateLimit” setting in the Proxy Config ◦ Max Number of Requests in Period of Time ◦ 6  30  100  200 …seriously! ◦ Thank you, Katie! SCAUG 2015 27
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  29. 29. Version 2 SCAUG 2015 29
  30. 30. SCAUG 2015 30 Voter Dashboard v2
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  39. 39.  Stop Changing the Infrastructure  Understand the Errors  Do NOT wait until the last minute  Avoid testing in Production SCAUG 2015 39
  40. 40. SCAUG 2015 40 Tim Nolan, Collin County tnolan@co.collin.tx.us Michael Parma, GISi Michael.Parma@gisinc.com Gabi Voicu, Collin County gvoicu@co.collin.tx.us nolantim michaelparma @plotboy TimNolan3 gabi-voicu

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