Inspiration

2020 has been a crazy year. We’ve seen political activism and a thirst for justice around the globe. Now, America’s voting. With that in mind, we wanted to create a website that promotes voting - informed voting. We hope that resources like these will help people, especially students- who are new to voting to understand what it means to vote and empower them with information and the ability to call for change.

What it does

The Votability Website has multiple resources. Sign up/ Log in and explore local candidates, parties, see campaign contributions, understand what it means to vote, register to vote with just a click of a button, start a petition through change.org and find nearby electoral offices and ways to participate!

How we built it

We built the front-end using HTML and CSS. The backend using Python. We implemented APIs - specifically the Google Civic Information API to inform voters on the local level and the Google Maps API so that voters can find where they can participate- like rallies and volunteering through electoral offices.

Challenges we ran into

We initially thought of using React for the frontend but upon realizing that combining it with Python may be unrealistic, we quickly translated to HTML and CSS. Since we are all first years, we didn’t know how to implement many features but we learnt as we went!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of creating an informational resource that helps young voters like us. There is a lot of misinformation out there and we are glad we can point voters in the right direction. Being able to cast a spotlight on local elections is something we are proud of. They are usually overlooked however, they are one of the most important ways citizens can make their voice heard. Apart from that, we're still new to hackathons and it being virtual made it more difficult. We are proud and happy that our we were able to work on a solid project.

What we learned

A lot of the information here is something we didn’t know. We had a crash course on politics and what’s important for us to know through the development of this website. From a technical standpoint figured out authentication, connected frontend and backend for different pages and worked well in a team.

What's next for Votability

Making Votability more universal in terms of taking user input for their profile location. As well as implementing the finance page using accessible APIs. Currently it is optimized for the 2020 Presidential elections on the Finance and NYC on the Navigation page. We were also unable to sync the backend and frontend for our Local Elections API. We’d like to fully implement that.

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