Inspiration

In the last midterm election (2014), 17% of young voters ages 18-24 voted. The overall voting percentage did not fare well either, with 41.9% of eligible Americans voting. One of the main concerns among non-voters is lack of knowledge about candidates' positions, so we wanted to create an easy way to access that information. (statistics from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/voting-and-registration/p20-577.html)

What it does

The webpage displays a map of Illinois and its congressional districts. Clicking on a congressional district will show the two candidates running in the November General Election, as well as their view (support/oppose/unknown) on 9 key issues. The predicted Democrat/Republican split is shown at the top, and the candidates status as incumbent or challenger is also written.

How we built it

Our information on candidate stances comes from the 2018 Political Courage Test by Vote Smart, an organization endorsed by CNN & New York Times. The test was sent out to all candidates who qualify for the 2018 General Election. For candidates who did not fill out the survey, Vote Smart inferred positions based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups. We compiled the data into a spreadsheet manually and used JSON arrays to insert it into our website.

Challenges we ran into

We struggled with collecting candidate stances until we found votesmart.org. In addition, we didn't know how to compile the data into our website until our mentor introduced us to JSON arrays.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

This was our first hackathon, and we finished on time!

What we learned

We both became more proficient in Javascript and more knowledgeable about the distribution of candidates across the state.

What's next for IL Elections 18

We will look into integrating this website with political organizations throughout the state through our ties to organizations like JSA.

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