Political engagement is one of the few truly nonpartisan issues in our country. Since this weekend was inauguration weekend, we thought it made sense to make a website that helps voters stay informed while also allowing them to keep in touch with their elected officials.
What it does
Ballot Builder is a website that allows users to find out how who their U.S. Senators and Representatives are and get their contact information. Currently, the app only allows users to view their federal representatives, but the framework is in place to add state and local representatives, as well as information about upcoming elections and polling locations.
How I built it
We also wrote a Python script that parses the U.S. Congress website and extracts information about all the representatives. The script gathers information about all 541 members of Congress and outputs it into a database. While convenient, it is also quite time-consuming to run, so the website is only meant to run it when it needs to - so whenever that data changes after an election.
Challenges I ran into
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Our Python script that parses HTML code took a great deal of time and effort to get running properly, so that's definitely something we feel deserves recognition. Although it certainly has room for improvement, we're proud that we were able to get it done in such a short time frame.
What I learned
What's next for Ballot Builder
In the future, we would like to add state and local representatives to the app, as well as information about upcoming elections and polling locations.