BallotPath

From local school boards to federal offices, there are hundreds of thousands of elected positions in this country that people can run for.

Only 2% of the public has ever run for public office. 60% of millennials report using the internet for "how-to" information, yet the filing instructions for most offices are not available online.

We can do better.

About the app

BallotPath is a free service that makes it easy for people to discover the elected offices they can run for.

It's simple:

1. Enter your address.
2. See all the offices you can run for.
3. Learn the key dates and information needed to appear on the ballot.

By 2016, we aim to release data covering 100 largest counties in the U.S. -- putting candidacy information at the fingertips of 120 million people.

We need your help.

As a trailblazing digital service project, BallotPath depends on numerous student interns, volunteers, and institutional partners. Our Candidacy Researchers have a valuable opportunity to gain hands-on experience with political processes, data analysis, and civic technology. We have worked with interns who have received academic credit.

"The BallotPath Project puts vital information for running for office where people look for it today: online. Having the information for all publicly elected offices in one place, online, free, and retrievable by address all makes sense. I was happy to help out on this project in its early days and be part of Portland State's efforts."

-Phil Keisling, Director, PSU Center for Public Service
Oregon Secretary of State (1991-1999)

FAQ

Q. What is BallotPath?

A. BallotPath is a digital project that makes it easier for citizens to learn about running for elected offices. We provide a simple, free service:

· Enter your address
· See all the offices you can run for
· See what information is needed to appear on the ballot


Q. What is the purpose of BallotPath?

A. The process of learning whether you can run for publicly elected office is a labyrinth. There are no organizations dedicated to helping citizens navigate it. Not surprisingly, the United States suffers from low “candidacy turnout.” Literally, thousands of offices go uncontested or even worse, no candidate files at all and someone is appointed. BallotPath’s mission is to help citizens get the information they need to know what they can run for and how to get on the ballot.


Q. Who funds BallotPath?

A. BallotPath is funded by NationBuilder, an LA-based company that makes software for leaders.


Q. What's available?

A. BallotPath is currently available for 38 counties. By 2016, we aim to make candidacy information freely available for the 100 most populated counties in the United States, covering approximately 120 million people.


Q. What are the challenges to getting this data?

A. TBD. Many.


Q. How can I get involved?

A. BallotPath depends on a distributed system of Candidacy Researchers, who are trained to locate candidacy information. We work primarily with political science students from colleges and universities around the country. We welcome institutional partners and dedicated volunteers and try whenever possible to assign people to their “home” counties.


Q. What is BallotPath's story?

A. Read the story of how BallotPath came to be.