16 million Americans do not have access to the internet. In order to make politics and political information more accessible, we created a textbot that is a one-stop-shop for all things voting.
What it does
Votexto takes a zip code and provides polling places, registration sites, election timelines, absentee ballots, and Presidential/Congressional/local elections (candidates and platforms).
How I built it
Written in Python, we used Twilio to create a textbot that acts as a menu. The menu has multiple options, ranging from How do I vote? to Candidates and their platforms.
Challenges I ran into
We wanted to create an automatic registration machine using inputs from texts, but captcha was an issue we ran into. Instead, we pivoted and created a menu textbot with information.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We incorporated COVID information into our textbot, which is very relevant for the upcoming election to ensure social distancing. We were also able to incorporate a voter registration feature into our textbot. We created a scraper to read various websites to automate Votexto.
What I learned
Teamwork, how to use twilio, and how to make a scraper.
What's next for Votexto
Natural Language Processing to make Votexto more interactive (less like a menu, more like a conversation). Continue scraper implementation to automate voter registration across all 50 states. Continue web scraping to provide information regarding local elections.