GeoElections Project: Geographic Technology for Better Elections

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: National States Geographic Information Council 
Amount: Up to $300,000 in 2017

What is the GeoElections Project?

The GeoElections Project, lead by the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC), aims to improve geographic technology for better elections. The effort will tap state-level geospatial information officers, election directors, and other subject matter experts to champion the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) map technology. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are technologically advanced computer systems that use data to describe the earth’s surface and analyze the relationships between locations. Digital map representations of precinct boundaries are more transparent and easier to use for election administrative purposes. For this project, NSGIC will develop and promote best practices for replacing the current ‘street file’, a catalog of voter precinct assignments that requires correct addresses to be updated.

Why do we think this project is a good idea?

Democracy Fund Voice supports NSGIC’s efforts to facilitate the adoption of geographic information systems and related processes to enhance elections management and citizen engagement across the United States. By funding their project, we will be able to positively increase the quality of election administration for voters, candidates, and electoral management staff across the U.S. By providing additional states and localities with the information they require to utilize mapping technology, we believe this will lead to more accurate and accessible electoral databases and further innovate elections management best practices.

How is Voice supporting the project?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to the National States Geographic Information Council in the amount of up to $300,000 to facilitate the adoption of geographic information systems and related processes to enhance elections management and citizen engagement across the United States.

Stand Up Republic

Type of Activity: Grant
Grantee: Stand Up Republic
Amount: Up to $250,000 in 2017

What is Stand Up Republic?

Stand Up Republic is a recently launched organization founded by Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn to usher in a new era of civic engagement to defend democratic institutions and ideals in America. They seek to build and organize a grassroots movement in defense of liberty, equality, and truth in America while upholding the Constitution and defending the democratic norms and institutions upon which the protection of our basic rights depend.

Why do we think this organization is important?

This organization is confronting and engaging in important work to protect the norms of our democracy and to push back against dangerous demagoguery in our politics. Organization projects will include executive oversight (particularly related to Article I), First Amendment protections, and individual rights. By supporting Stand Up we support efforts to empower individuals to stand for their principles and for preserving our republic. Stand Up seeks to achieve its mission through creative education, leadership development, national movement building, and advocacy.

How is Voice supporting Stand Up Republic?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Stand Up Republic in the amount of up to $25o,000 in 2017.

Advocacy for Good Governance

Type of Activity: Advocacy Grant.
Grantee: Bipartisan Policy Center Advocacy Network, Inc.
Amount: Up to $150,000 in 2016 – 2017.

What is the Commission on Political Reform?
The Commission on Political Reform was launched by the sister organization of the Bipartisan Policy Center Advocacy Network (the Bipartisan Policy Center) in 2013 to investigate the causes and consequences of America’s partisan political divide and to advocate for specific reforms that will improve the political process in a polarized atmosphere. The Commission proposed 24 recommendations to strengthen the electoral process, the process by which Congress legislates and manages its own affairs, and the ability of Americans to plug into the nation’s civic life through public service.  These reforms and solutions, championed by both ends of the political spectrum, include reinvigorating the central role of the congressional committee and reestablishing bipartisan interpersonal contact.

Why do we think this is a good idea?
We believe that bringing together a coalition of organizations to support bipartisan political reform can increase the likelihood and the impact of those reforms. BPCAN is uniquely positioned to develop and implement a strategy for this work because of its powerful voice in congressional bipartisan policy. They will promote an ongoing conversation about how to overcome political divides and make our government work better.

How is DFV supporting BPCAN?
Democracy Fund Voice approved a one year grant to the Bipartisan Policy Center Advocacy Network in the amount of up to $150,000 in 2016-2017 to facilitate coordination with other organizations advocating for recommendations of the Commission on Political Reform and other congressional reforms.