JOB: Data Lead, Voting Information Project

UPDATE: As of 6/6/2016, we are no longer accepting new applications to this posting. Thank you for your interest!

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

TurboVote, our first service, tracks a voter’s elections. We provide all the materials and information they need to get registered, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national—and we’ll even mail forms with an addressed, stamped envelope for the local election office. Ballot Scout helps local election administrators track absentee ballots as they travel through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry.

We also work with the Pew Charitable Trusts and Google to ensure that the Voting Information Project’s data is up-to-date and ready from one election to the next. The Voting Information Project (VIP) coordinates with state election offices to publish nationally-standardized information about where and how to vote—data that powers everything from Google’s polling place search to our own text message and email reminders to TurboVote users.

The Data Lead is the VIP team’s stalwart front line as we acquire, parse, and assess a nation’s worth of election data.

In this role, you'll:

  • Manage a dataset that has served millions (and tens of millions) of voters since 2008.

  • Train state election offices in data standards and exports

  • Build and maintain parsers, quality assurance checks, and data management scripts

  • Collaborate with the Democracy Works developer team and Google engineers

You are:

  • Obsessively attentive to detail

  • Creative, in the way that recognizes the artistry in a well-wrought Excel macro

  • Comfortable translating between jargon and vernacular

  • Passionate about civic tech and open data

  • Happiest working with a team

  • Interested in both the macro and micro views of any project

You (hopefully) have experience:

  • Handling large, complex datasets using some combination of SQL and Ruby/Python (or similar)

  • In an agile development environment

  • In politics, government, or non-profits

  • On highly collaborative teams

  • Providing customer support, or working with external partners

Salary is competitive and commensurate with education and experience. Democracy Works also offers a benefits package including health insurance, vacation, and a 403(b) retirement plan. We’re based in Brooklyn, NY and Denver, CO, and we hope you’ll want to work from our Brooklyn office, though we’ll consider remote arrangements for the perfect candidate.

To apply, send a resume and brief, informal introduction to Maria and Katy at work@democracy.works with the subject “Will data for democracy.”

We are inspired by the idea of building an awesome and truly diverse team, so we strongly encourage applicants of all races, colors, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to diversity or about general hiring practices.

 

I hope you had a great Spring Break 🌴...now let’s get back to work! 💪

March Madness is certainly here, but I’m betting a fair number of you are still on Spring Break. So if you are off where the weather is nice, it’s completely acceptable to leave this email in your inbox until you get back next week. But don’t wait too long, because the end of the school year is just around the corner. It’s time to get ready for that last push of voter engagement before everyone heads home for the summer! Looking for ideas? Check out our New Partner Spotlight and the referral codes section from the Voter Engagement Toolkit to see how you can incorporate campus groups and track progress.

Campus Compact Conference
Will you be at next week's 30th Anniversary Campus Compact Conference in Boston? TurboVote staff will be there with swag to give away. We’ll also be giving two presentations on campus civic engagement strategies, both on Tuesday, 3/22. The first is from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. in Beacon A and will cover youth turnout in 2016. The second presentation, our interactive Voter Engagement Simulation, follows at 2:50 - 3:50 p.m. in Beacon D. If you’d like to connect in person, please email partnerships@turbovote.org. We’d love to meet up!

New Partner Spotlight - University of Missouri
As a result of the cancellation of some of their health care by the university, graduate students at the University of Missouri became quite engaged in campus affairs and wanted to be sure they were adequately represented in the state capital. Laura Satkowski, Director of State Affairs for the Graduate Professional Council, was charged with reaching out to TurboVote and beginning Mizzou’s partnership, but it turned out a number of on-campus groups wanted to participate, so a coalition was formed. We’re suckers for a good coalition. Almost immediately after implementing TurboVote, the link for the Mizzou co-branded site was shared through blast emails, on social media (including a retweet from the official Mizzou account), and in residential life surveys. “The first couple of days, it was interesting to check the dashboard on a regular basis and see the number of signups keep going up,” Laura said. Thinking ahead, Laura also worked with the TurboVote Partnerships Team to implement referral codes so the origin of traffic to the site could be tracked on the administrative dashboard. As a result, Mizzou’s implementers were able to assign codes, or customized links, to various campus groups, each residence hall, and campus cohorts (graduate or undergraduate students) to see who was most responsible for driving the greatest number of signups. The next phase of outreach implementers hope to initiate is a series of mass emails from the university office of financial aid, which is the on-campus entity responsible for voter registration. They’ll also be asking a little something more from their coalition members—a pledge to meet their goal of signing up 15% of their individual constituencies. Receiving this sort of buy-in and cooperation from campus groups can really help to increase interest and excitement in the outreach process (not to mention help in shouldering some of the work). This year to date, Mizzou has signed up almost 800 new voters, well on their way to meeting their benchmark of 1,000! It just goes to show you what can be accomplished with a little planning and an enthusiastic group of implementers. Way to go, Tigers and keep it up! To help give you an idea of who you might reach out to on your own campus, the University of Missouri coalition consists of:

  • Katie Steen, Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM) Executive Director, responsible for reaching out to the entire student body, 
  • Kate Hargis, ASUM Campus President, responsible for reaching out to the entire student body with a focus on undergraduates,
  • Billy Donley, Resident Hall Association President, responsible for students in residence halls, and,
  • Chris Dade, Tigers Advancing Political Participation member, responsible for outreach.

Voter Engagement Toolkit: Referral Codes
Have you thought about creating a campus voter registration challenge similar to Mizzou? You could reach out to various student groups and ask them to participate in voter outreach with the most signups receiving a prize or recognition. But how would you keep track of which signed up the most voters? Referral codes, my friends! It’s easy to create customized links to your co-branded TurboVote site, so you end up with your own campus leaderboard that would look something like this:

Our Voter Engagement Toolkit has all kinds of ideas to reach students all across campus using your referral codes. It’s really as sending an email to campus groups, setting some ground rules and timelines, and asking them to get as many students registered as possible. Residence halls, club sports, Greek life, and campus political groups are all good bottlenecks to try and receive as much by-in as possible. And as always, if you would like some help planning campus outreach, have new ideas you’d like to bat around, or have no idea how to even start, give us a shout at partnerships@turbovote.org.

Leaderboards
A few colleges and universities have bumped up in position since the last time we spoke, but it seems, on the whole, the Top 25 has plateaued a little bit. What I see is an opportunity for an endeavoring implementer out there to make a solid, coordinated push on campus to get an extra 200 - 300 signups before the next Implementer Update! This is your chance—while everyone else is napping, waiting for Spring Break, you can pounce and leapfrog a couple of other schools at once! So, who will it be? Who will put the extra work in while the rest of us are watching college basketball, eating cheesy poofs?

Leaderboards, since Jan. 1, 2016, TurboVote signups only:

  1. Kennesaw State University - 1108
  2. The University of Virginia - 1031
  3. UNC Charlotte - 797
  4. University of Notre Dame - 791
  5. Boston College - 789
  6. University of Missouri-Columbia - 762
  7. Brigham Young University - 722
  8. Macomb Community College - 684
  9. West Chester University - 392
  10. Northeastern State University - 391
  11. Washington University in St. Louis - 370
  12. Northeastern Illinois University - 360
  13. James Madison University - 332
  14. Boston University - 323
  15. The University of Chicago - 322
  16. DePaul University - 309
  17. Miami Dade College - 271
  18. Broward College - 261
  19. Seminole State College - 256
  20. University of North Carolina at Greensboro - 251
  21. University of Central Florida - 240
  22. Palm Beach State College - 215
  23. Northwest Missouri State University - 200
  24. St. Petersburg College - 199
  25. Tufts University - 199

I really hope you had a good, relaxing break, but it’s time to get back to it! I want the next Top 25 Leaderboard to blow me away. Are you in the Top 25? Challenge yourself to improve your position by one place! Not in the Top 25? Let’s see if you can make a showing in the next two weeks! I look forward to seeing what you all have in store.

Best,
Brandon Naylor
Director of Communications
Democracy Works, makers of TurboVote

We're mad for March!

It’s still technically February, but what’s just around the corner? Why, I do believe it’s March, bringing with it the proverbial “madness” (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, this upcoming month represents the beginning of the NCAA national basketball championships.). We’ve got our own little competition brewing in the updated leaderboards, but first…

Meeting the 2016 election head-on
TurboVote partner Dominican University of California has really taken to heart the challenge of engaging younger voters for the 2016 election. In coordination with the Commission on Presidential Debates, and using TurboVote, Dominican will hold a first-of-its-kind technology and social media initiative during the 2016 presidential debates to engage young voters. Only 41.2% of 18-24 year olds voted in 2012 — that’s a lot of folks not voting. So Dominican’s aim is to get them involved, early in the process, by asking the candidates to respond directly to young voters, in real time. We’ll be announcing details as they become available, but for now, you can check out the main page for this initiative, apply to become a delegate, and follow the conversation on social media using #CollegeDebate16. We’re very excited about this opportunity and we hope you will participate!

Free voter registration report!
By now, you know about Tufts University’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE). A free service, NSLVE measures student registration and voting rates and provides each participating campus with a tailored report containing those rates broken down by age, class level, race/ethnicity, gender, voting method, and voting location. See a sample report here. This is your last chance before the 2016 election to join more than 800 colleges and universities nationwide that have already learned their rates for 2012 and 2014. This is not a survey! All you need to do is submit this authorization form. For more information, visit the NSLVE web site. Submit your form by April 15, 2016.

NASPA
Are you or any of your colleagues attending NASPA in Indianapolis? If not, there’s still time to register. We will be hosting a panel of TurboVote implementers, so please be sure to stop by.

Cultivating Civic Action: Key Strategies for Voter Engagement
Tuesday, March 15 (2:30 PM - 3:20 PM)
Meeting Room 127 - Convention Center

Our TurboVote partnerships team would love to connect with you! Send us a note to partnerships@turbovote.org and let us know when we can see your session or meet you for coffee. You bring you and we’ll bring the TurboVote swag!

Leaderboards
The madness is upon us! You can see the University of Virginia has rocketed to the #2 spot on this week’s leaderboards and BC’s right behind them at #3! We’ll have more on those meteoric rises next time, but for now, Kennesaw State remains at the top of our bracket in the #1 seed. UNC Charlotte is making a play for the top, jumping from #14 to #4 since last time and new TurboVote partners Notre Dame and Mizzou have planted in the #5 and #6 spots respectively. It takes a lot for this KU Jayhawk alum to say (especially in the month of March), but way to go, M-I-Z-Z-O-U!

Leaderboards, since Jan. 1, 2016, TurboVote signups only:

  1. Kennesaw State University - 1100
  2. The University of Virginia - 1009
  3. Boston College - 769
  4. UNC Charlotte - 754
  5. University of Notre Dame - 650
  6. University of Missouri-Columbia - 598
  7. Macomb Community College - 527
  8. Brigham Young University - 399
  9. Northeastern State University - 384
  10. Northeastern Illinois University - 343
  11. James Madison University - 329
  12. The University of Chicago - 313
  13. Washington University in St. Louis - 274
  14. DePaul University - 251
  15. Seminole State College - 245
  16. Broward College - 237
  17. University of North Carolina at Greensboro - 198
  18. Stanford University - 182
  19. St. Petersburg College - 179
  20. Pomona College - 154
  21. Bowdoin College - 153
  22. Champlain College - 153
  23. University of Florida - 153
  24. Palm Beach State College - 134
  25. Boston University - 126

As always, if you’re interested in improving your position on the leaderboard, or don’t see yourself on there at all, be sure to email partnerships@turbovote.org to see what outreach strategies you can implement to register even more students! By the time you hear from me again, I hope these leaderboards are total...madness? Be a disruptor! Get in the game! Mix it up! Bust some brackets! Beat your RPI! Win your pool! Show Dick Vitale who's really boss! Another sports analogy!

Thanks for all your hard work and until next month!

Best,
Brandon Naylor
Director of Communications
Democracy Works, makers of TurboVote

Applications for Democracy Works internships are now OPEN!

**NOTE: The deadline for this posting is past and the application process is closed.**

Each year, Democracy Works hires a team of summer associates made up of undergraduate students working out of our Brooklyn office who are passionate about improving democracy. This summer, we’re hiring associates for two different departments: fundraising and TurboVote. If you have a passion for democracy, a desire to improve how people engage with elections, and would like to receive a stipend, please click on the position that you are most interested in and apply ASAP. Good luck!

INTERNSHIP: TurboVote Summer Associate

UPDATE: As of 3/31/2016, we are no longer accepting applications for this position. Thank you for your interest.

Democracy Works is an authority in civic technology. We believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

TurboVote, our first service, helps voters get registered, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national — and we’ll even mail forms with an addressed, stamped envelope for the local election office. Our government service, Ballot Scout helps local election administrators track absentee ballots as they travel through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process. We also work with the Pew Charitable Trusts and Google to ensure that the Voting Information Project’s data is up-to-date and ready from one election to the next.

The Democracy Works partnerships team recruits schools, organizations, and local governments to promote voter engagement through the strategic use of our technology. Over 150 colleges and universities and more than a dozen nonprofit organizations currently use TurboVote.

In 2016, our goals are (1) to invest in our existing partners and find creative ways to help them build more comprehensive programs for voter engagement and (2) to reach new potential partners and set the stage for substantial program growth in advance of the presidential election. 

As this is a startup, you’ll get to wear a lot of hats. You should be:

  • unafraid of “no”
  • at home in an agile, fast-paced collaborative environment
  • comfortable with oral and written communications in a variety of settings, including phone presence and presentation skills
  • organized, able to prioritize time effectively and multi-task
  • a relationship-builder and all-around “people person”

Experience in political organizing, leading an organization, editing and designing, or business development is a plus, but is not a requirement.

Your job will include:

  • generating and pursuing new leads,
  • collecting and maintaining data on our partners so every contact gets the customized outreach they need, and,
  • building relationships with current and potential partners across the country and supporting their campus programs (you’ll spend a lot of time on the phone).

This internship is located in Brooklyn, includes a stipend, and runs from early June to mid-August, 2016. Candidates should email a resume and cover letter, addressed to Mike, at intern@turbovote.org with the subject line “Will intern for democracy” to begin the application process. In your email, be sure to reference that you’re applying for the TurboVote Summer Associate listing. 

We are inspired by the idea of building an awesome and truly diverse team, so we strongly encourage applicants of all races, colors, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. 

INTERNSHIP: Fundraising/Executive Support Intern

UPDATE: As of 3/31/2016, we are no longer accepting applications for this position. Thank you for your interest.

Democracy Works is an authority in civic technology. We believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

TurboVote, our first service, helps voters get registered, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national — and we’ll even mail forms with an addressed, stamped envelope for the local election office. Our government service, Ballot Scout helps local election administrators track absentee ballots as they travel through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process. We also work with the Pew Charitable Trusts and Google to ensure that the Voting Information Project’s data is up-to-date and ready from one election to the next.

These services are the work of 20 employees, distributed across four states. We are a growing company and the executive director needs administrative help with fundraising efforts to continue organizational growth.

As an assistant, you’ll:

  • enter and maintain information about donors in Insight.ly, our client relationship management tool,
  • research donors and organizations that may be interested in our work,
  • help the executive director with follow-up emailing from conferences, etc., and
  • assist the executive director in ghostwriting op-eds and blog posts.

You are:

  • organized,
  • detail-oriented, and
  • an excellent communicator, who can write warm and conversational emails without sounding too informal.

This internship is located in Brooklyn, includes a stipend, and runs from early June to mid-August, 2016. Candidates should email a resume and cover letter, addressed to Seth, at intern@turbovote.org with the subject line “Will intern for democracy” to begin the application process. In your email, be sure to reference that you’re applying for the Fundraising/Executive Support Intern listing. 

We are inspired by the idea of building an awesome and truly diverse team, so we strongly encourage applicants of all races, colors, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service.

JOB: Software developer (& professional development leader)

UPDATE: We are no longer accepting applications for this position. Thank you for your interest.

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

TurboVote, our first service, tracks an individual voter’s elections. We provide all the materials and information they need to get registered, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national—and we’ll even mail forms with an addressed, stamped envelope for the local election office. Ballot Scout, our newest product, helps local election administrators track absentee ballots as they travel through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry. We also work with the Pew Charitable Trusts and Google to ensure that the Voting Information Project’s data is up-to-date and ready from one election to the next.

These products are the work of our seven-person developer team. Most of our development involves writing microservices in Clojure running in Docker containers and communicating over RabbitMQ, web clients in ClojureScript and Om, and data stored in Datomic. We also have projects that use JavaScript, Node, jQuery, React, Ruby, Rails, Python, Golang, and PostgreSQL. We hope you have experience with some of these technologies and are excited to get experience with the rest.

We pair program, collaborate with product managers, and make sure our efforts deliver value to voters. We rotate roles and projects on our team so that everyone gets a variety of experience and working relationships and can bring their unique strengths to as wide a swath of our work as possible.

We are looking for an experienced software developer (preferably with some Clojure experience) who is excited to dive into these projects and to help us ramp up our internal professional development efforts on the developer team. We have developers with various levels of experience and backgrounds and we want to hire someone who can take the lead on helping each of us get better at what we do. That will involve spending ~20% of your time working with the other developers at Democracy Works to assess what they'd like to focus on learning and practicing, how they can best move up the ranks of the developer team, and how they can help their colleagues achieve these same goals. This is a unique opportunity for a candidate who is passionate about sharing what they know and helping other developers to be better learners and teachers.

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Democracy Works also offers a benefits package including health insurance and vacation. We’re based in Brooklyn, NY and Denver, CO, and we hope you’ll want to work from one of these offices–though we’ll consider remote arrangements for the perfect candidate.

To apply, send a resume and brief introduction to Wes and Katy at work@democracy.works with the subject “Will code for democracy.”

We are inspired by the idea of building an awesome and truly inclusive team, so we strongly encourage applicants of all races, colors, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to diversity or about general hiring practices.

 

🔮 I see...your school...at the top of the next TurboVote Leaderboard! 🔮

I’m looking into the future and there you are, finishing the academic year strong and already prepared for the fall with a voter engagement plan you developed with our partnerships team…!

In the next few minutes, I see...all new things. A new opportunity, a new partner university, and most exciting of all...NEW LEADERBOARDS!

NSLVE
By now, you know about Tufts University’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE). A free service, NSLVE measures student registration and voting rates and provides each participating campus with a tailored report containing those rates broken down by age, class level, race/ethnicity, gender, voting method, and voting location. See a sample report here. Participation is free, confidential, easy, and protective of student privacy. This is your last chance before the 2016 election to join more than 800 colleges and universities nationwide that have already learned their rates for 2012 and 2014. This is not a survey! All you need to do is submit this authorization form. For more information, visit the NSLVE web site and be sure to submit your form by April 15, 2016.

New Partner Spotlight: Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame joins the TurboVote ranks as a new partner for 2016 and we couldn’t be more excited. We think they’re pretty serious, too — in the short time they’ve been a partner, they’ve already managed to sign up 504 students! 

The effort to bring TurboVote to ND’s campus was really from the ground up. It was spearheaded by a task force comprised of 15 students from different political and civic groups that decided they needed to explore technology options for voter registration and engagement. They worked in conjunction with the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy, the Center for Social Concerns, and Office of Public Affairs and Communications as part of the ND Votes ’16 campaign, which takes a nonpartisan stance in its effort to promote informed civic and political engagement among students. But rather than simply having TurboVote and hoping students used it, the task force ensured a plan was in place to give Notre Dame the best chance to succeed in voter registration. There is one student in each residence hall who is trying to engage their neighbors to sign up and a letter was sent by the administration to describe the importance of voter registration. Whatever they are doing, it’s working, judging by their impressive position on the leaderboard below.

And it seems the sky is the limit for their expectations! Their goals for this year are to sign up as many students as possible, engage students in relevant political issues, and to challenge their students to learn what it means to become engaged overall. And, Notre Dame also is making TurboVote available to their faculty and staff. Do you have a plan for the rest of this academic year and how you plan to reach students in this important election year? Share your thoughts or brainstorm some new ideas by emailing our partnerships team at partnerships@turbovote.org

Leaderboards
We’re only two months into 2016 and we’ve already got one partner with more than a thousand sign-ups and even more partners hitting the mid-triple digits! To give you some idea of scale, the leader after the 2015 November elections had 1,702, so this is shaping up to be a most impressive year. I want to see the Top 25 start putting up ridiculous numbers for the rest of 2016!

Leaderboard, Total Sign-ups (since January 1), February 8:

  1. Kennesaw State University - 1083
  2. University of Notre Dame - 504
  3. Macomb Community College - 442
  4. James Madison University - 279
  5. Northeastern State University - 206
  6. Broward College - 197
  7. Seminole State College - 173
  8. University of Missouri-Columbia - 147
  9. The University of Chicago - 139
  10. University of North Carolina at Greensboro - 115
  11. California Polytechnic State University - 103
  12. Pomona College - 98
  13. Stanford University - 93
  14. UNC Charlotte - 81
  15. Lone Star College - 74
  16. University of North Georgia - 73
  17. Boston University - 59
  18. Illinois State University - 55
  19. Piedmont Virginia Community College - 55
  20. The College of William & Mary - 54
  21. Fort Hays State University - 52
  22. The Associated Students of Michigan State University - 49
  23. Clarkson University - 46
  24. Northeastern Illinois University - 46
  25. The College Hill Alliance/Mercer University - 40

Ok, truth time...I’m a terrible fortune teller and I didn’t actually see you in my crystal ball. So if you didn’t notice yourself on the leaderboard or think you can get even higher in the rankings, you need to contact our partnerships team and make sure you have an implementation plan for the rest of spring, the summer, and this fall to put yourself in the best position to succeed.

Thanks for all your hard work and until next month!

Best,
Brandon Naylor
Director of Communications
Democracy Works, makers of TurboVote

That time voter registration in 2016 was bigger than Adele.

I hope you had a restful holiday season and are ready to jump into 2016 full force! For any new implementers out there, let me introduce myself. My name is Brandon Naylor and I am the director of communications for Democracy Works, makers of TurboVote. I will be writing to you every so often to check in and share information from our partnerships team that might make your TurboVote implementation go even better than planned. I’ll give you tips and tools, tell you what other partners are doing to bolster their implementation efforts, remind you of important deadlines, and most importantly, give you updated national leaderboards! I hope to see your institution’s name on there before too long.

2016 looks to be a monumental year for TurboVote. Building off your efforts from 2015, in a non-presidential election year, I think we may be set for our biggest year yet for voter registration. If that goal is going to become a reality, we’re going to need your help. In a presidential election year, without an incumbent on the ballot, interest is high and we have a tremendous opportunity to civically engage your campus.

Planning for the year
With all that’s going on around us, we usually only have the capacity to think a few weeks ahead at a time. This year should be an exception. Now is not only the time to start planning what the rest of this semester looks like for voter engagement, but what efforts you can plan over the summer, as well as how you plan to begin your efforts in the fall. We have put together a Voter Engagement Toolkit, which includes a helpful section on how to plan your year, including a worksheet, important milestones, and strategies you can employ. And remember, our partnerships team is always ready to discuss strategy or answer any questions you might have. Just send an email to partnerships@turbovote.org.

Meet Jill, Emily, and Andrew!
To better serve all of our partners with implementation, there are some new faces joining the partnerships team. Jill Brownfield and Emily Giffin will be joining Matt Tharp to complete our TurboVote Partnerships Support Team. In addition, Andrew Snyder will be joining the team as our TurboVote Outreach lead. If you happen to be on a conference call together, be sure to welcome them!

Jill Brownfield is our new TurboVote partner support lead working remotely from California, though she’s a native Floridian. She will be coordinating with college and university partners to find ways to more fully engage their students in the voting process. She’s a rugby player, an avid Cubs fan, and when had the question put to her, did not hold the belief that a hot dog is technically a sandwich.

Emily Giffin, originally from Dallas, TX, has joined our Brooklyn office as a partnerships associate. A strategic communications graduate of the University of Missouri, Emily loves to go to the movies, eat delicious food she’s incapable of preparing herself, and explore New York City like a tourist. With Democracy Works, she will spend most of her time working with the partnerships team to provide our college and university partners with the best possible support. She’s especially interested to work on voter engagement strategy in a presidential election year and excited for what lies beyond.

Andrew Snyder is the campus outreach lead for the TurboVote partnerships team. He grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts - or as you probably [may not] know it, the birthplace of America, breathing the fresh air of the American Revolution. This likely inspired his love of democracy, politics, and voting.  He recently returned to the Northeast to attain a master's in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government after a long sojourn to the frozen prairies of Minnesota, where he worked in political communications and majored in ice sculpture at Carleton College. He is an insufferable Patriots fan and proud of it.

Our new team members will be answering partnerships@turbovote.org, so feel free to drop them a line with any questions or comments you might have about TurboVote. You can also expect to hear from Jill and Emily in the coming weeks as they work with you to plan the 2016 year with TurboVote!

Leaderboards
Every month, I will share with you a running tally of how many voters have been registered by the top schools since the beginning of 2016. While this always serves as an indicator of where your school or university falls in the grand scheme, I think it’s more useful as a competition. See an interstate rival on the list and think you can beat ‘em? Contact their student government or administration and see if you can work out a public challenge. After all, democracy is the ultimate beneficiary of signing up even more voters (though seeing your school’s name climb the standings is pretty satisfying, too!).

  1. Palm Beach State College - 92
  2. Stanford University - 48
  3. Miami Dade College - 42
  4. St. Petersburg College - 42
  5. Polk State College - 38
  6. UNC Charlotte - 32
  7. William Paterson University - 25
  8. The University of Chicago - 24
  9. Illinois State University - 18
  10. University of Central Florida - 18

Don’t see your college or university’s name? Email partnerships@turbovote.org to see how you can make a big splash at the start of 2016 and you’ll be in the Top 10 in no time!

Thank you all again and we’ll see you next month.

Best,
Brandon Naylor
Director of Communications
Democracy Works, makers of TurboVote

INTERNSHIP: Fundraising/Executive Support Intern

Update: The application email address has been changed to intern@turbovote.org

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

TurboVote, our first service, helps voters get registered, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national — and we’ll even mail forms with an addressed, stamped envelope for the local election office. Ballot Scout helps local election administrators track absentee ballots as they travel through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry. We also work with the Pew Charitable Trusts and Google to ensure that the Voting Information Project’s data is up-to-date and ready from one election to the next.

These services are the work of 20 employees, distributed across four states. We are a growing startup and the executive director needs administrative and organizational help with fundraising to continue growing the organization.

As an assistant, you’ll:

  • enter and maintain information about donors in Insight.ly, our client relationship management tool,
  • research donors and organizations that may be interested in our work,
  • help the executive director with follow-up emailing from conferences, etc., and
  • assist the executive director in ghostwriting op-eds and blog posts.

You are:

  • organized,
  • detail-oriented, and
  • an excellent communicator, who can write warm and conversational emails without sounding too informal.

This is a part-time paid internship located in Brooklyn that runs from January through May, 2016. Candidates should email a resume and a reference, addressed to Seth, at intern@turbovote.org with the subject line “Will intern for democracy” to begin the application process.

JOB: Data Associate, Voting Information Project

UPDATE: We are no longer accepting applications for this position. Thank you for your interest.

At Democracy Works, we believe that voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we’ve joined forces with The Pew Charitable Trusts as the data and technology contractor for the Voting Information Project (VIP), a collaboration between Pew and Google’s Politics & Elections team to provide every voter with access to standardized information about where and how to vote – data that powers everything from an embeddable Voter Information Tool to our own text message and email reminders to TurboVote’s users.

As the 2016 elections approach, we’re recruiting a Data Associate to join our team in the herculean task of collecting, parsing, and assuring the quality of a nation’s worth of election data from the primaries through November. This is a part-time, hourly position running from January through just after Election Day. The position will have variable hours, depending on the number of upcoming elections we will be preparing data for, culminating in more intensive hours near the November 8th General Election. We ask that you be able to dedicate at least 10 hours a week, which would increase near important election dates.

As a Data Associate for VIP, you’ll:

  • Support an open government dataset that received ~30 million hits in 2014
  • Collect, review, reformat, and generally wrangle the thorniest of elections data
  • Utilize the suite of data tools we created to process and QA datasets and resolve errors and issues
  • Aid in assisting state partners in implementing VIP data standards and support them in resolving data issues and errors

You are:

  • Obsessively attentive to detail
  • Creative, in the way that recognizes the artistry of a well-wrought Excel macro
  • Capable of staying focused in a high-energy environment
  • Passionate about civic tech, open data, and making elections more accessible
  • Excited to learn or master new technical skills

You have experience:

  • Handling large, complex datasets using some combination of Excel, SQL, and Ruby/Python (or similar)
  • (Preferably) in politics, government, or campaigns
  • Working on highly collaborative teams

This is a part-time, competitively-paid position running through the week of the election. We’re based in Brooklyn, NY and Denver, CO, but we will consider a remote position for the right candidate.

To apply, send a resume and informal personal introduction to Maria and Noma at work@turbovote.org with the subject “Will wrangle data for democracy.”

We have an awesome, diverse team, so we strongly encourage applicants of all races, colors, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact us at work@turbovote.org if you have any questions about our commitment to diversity or about general hiring practices.

Final 2015 TurboVote leaderboards are in!

What a tremendous 2015 you’ve had! We hope these implementer updates have been helpful, because looking back, each one serves as a reminder of the great work you have done to register as many students as possible this year.

We hope you’ve gotten something from what we’ve shared, as well, like the TurboVote Voter Engagement Toolkit, outreach tactics around National Voter Registration Day, and content we thought you might like. Thanks to you, we’ve seen some of these ideas put to use and we hope to share even more examples soon.

Mostly, though, we were proud to bring you the stories of partner institutions that put into action their own outreach efforts to tremendous effect. We shared the story of Vassar College and their Matriculation Book strategy that helped sign up 254 students in one day. Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo deployed ambassadors during campus move in day to describe TurboVote to students and encourage them to sign up, which netted 800 single day signups. Kennesaw State University took it upon themselves to create their own fun, descriptive video of TurboVote, making it easy to share around campus and on social media. The University of Virginia simply sent a campus-wide email and signed up 950 new users! These examples just further demonstrate why we are so proud of each one of our partners and the work they do to engage their students in civic participation.

And that work was significant. I am proud to announce today that due to your hard work and dedication, we had more than 30,000 total college partner signups this year! Thank you so much for everything you’ve done and I know we can top in 2016! Please continue to stay in touch with any comments or questions by emailing us at partnerships@turbovote.org. We love hearing from you.

Now the moment we’ve all been waiting for...

The final 2015 Registration Leaderboards.
The fact these leaderboards have never been stagnant week-to-week is all the proof you need that our partners never stop working to get more students registered. Single-day signups helped UVA and Cal Poly move up the board quickly, but even they didn’t stop there and continued to gain steadily. SUNY Geneseo has been arguably the most consistent in terms of climbing the leaderboards, adding the greatest percentage of their student body to their total week in and week out, but Brigham Young University has hung right in there in total number of signups. Everyone did a great job and we couldn’t be more proud of you. Congratulations to UVA and SUNY Geneseo for leading their respective leaderboards for 2015. And thank you all for a truly remarkable year!

Leaderboard, by total signups, Nov. 6:

  1. The University of Virginia - 1702
  2. California Polytechnic State University - 1461
  3. SUNY Geneseo - 1225
  4. Brigham Young University - 1134
  5. St. Petersburg College - 1119
  6. Montclair State University - 1084
  7. Ivy Tech Community College - 894
  8. Boston College - 807
  9. The Institute of Politics at Harvard University - 768
  10. Virginia Tech - 705
  11. The University of Chicago - 664
  12. Kutztown University - 639
  13. Case Western Reserve University - 563
  14. West Chester University - 516
  15. The Associated Students of Michigan State University - 488
  16. Boise State University - 469
  17. DePaul University - 458
  18. James Madison University - 455
  19. Lone Star College - 425
  20. Macomb Community College - 406
  21. Polk State College - 405
  22. Stanford University - 401
  23. The College of William & Mary - 384
  24. Miami Dade College - 361
  25. Broward College - 353

Leaderboard, by percentage of student body, Nov. 6:

  1. SUNY Geneseo - 22.26%
  2. Case Western Reserve University - 12.08%
  3. The University of Chicago - 11.73%
  4. The Institute of Politics at Harvard University - 11.43%
  5. The University of Virginia - 10.58%
  6. Vassar College - 10.50%
  7. Adventist University of Health Sciences - 9.94%
  8. Piedmont Virginia Community College - 9.17%
  9. Boston College - 8.92%
  10. Simpson College - 8.76%
  11. Clarkson University - 8.23%
  12. Hobart and William Smith Colleges - 7.90%
  13. California Polytechnic State University - 7.80%
  14. Hastings College - 7.60%
  15. Kutztown University - 7.25%
  16. The College Hill Alliance/Mercer University - 7.04%
  17. Montclair State University - 7.02%
  18. Chatham University - 6.45%
  19. Elon University - 6.27%
  20. The College of William & Mary - 6.12%
  21. St. Petersburg College - 6.12%
  22. Polk State College - 5.99%
  23. Dominican University of California - 5.74%
  24. Stanford University - 5.68%
  25. Bates College - 5.42%

Thank you all again and we’ll see you in 2016!

Best,
Brandon Naylor
Director of Communications
Democracy Works, makers of TurboVote

JOB: Software Developer

UPDATE: We are no longer accepting applications for this position. Thank you for your interest.

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

TurboVote, our first service, tracks an individual voter’s elections. We provide all the materials and information they need to get registered, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national — and we’ll even mail forms with an addressed, stamped envelope for the local election office. Ballot Scout, our newest product, helps local election administrators track absentee ballots as they travel through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry. We also work with the Pew Charitable Trusts and Google to ensure that the Voting Information Project’s data is up-to-date and ready from one election to the next.

These products are the work of our seven-person developer team. Most of our development involves writing microservices in Clojure running in Docker containers and communicating over RabbitMQ, web clients in ClojureScript and Om, and data stored in Datomic. We also have projects that use JavaScript, Node, jQuery, React, Ruby, Rails, Python, PostgreSQL, and Amazon’s SQS. We hope you have experience with some of these technologies and are excited to get experience with the rest. A lot of our code is open source and you can check it out on our GitHub.

We pair program, collaborate with product managers, and make sure our efforts deliver value to voters. We rotate roles and projects on our team so that everyone gets a variety of experience and working relationships and can bring their unique strengths to as wide a swath of our work as possible.

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Democracy Works also offers a competitive benefits package including health insurance and vacation. We’re based in Brooklyn, NY and Denver, CO, and we hope you’ll want to work from one of these offices–though we’ll consider remote arrangements for the perfect candidate.
To apply, send a resume and brief introduction to Daniel and Katy at work@democracy.works with the subject “Will code for democracy.”

We are inspired by the idea of building an awesome and truly inclusive team, so we strongly encourage applicants of all races, colors, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to diversity or about general hiring practices.

The new Top 50 leaderboards are out!

This week is all about the leaderboards, but I wanted to share a couple of items with you first.

Indiana Registration Video
The Indiana Secretary of State’s office has produced a fun, interesting video encouraging every voter to turnout on Nov. 3. This is actually just one in a series of videos aimed at showing exactly why one vote can matter. Have you considered doing something similar to show students why their vote counts? If you have any ideas you’d like to bounce off of us, go ahead and shoot us an email at partnerships@turbovote.org. We’re always excited to hear from you.

Reminders Only
Can voters still sign up for reminders and will they receive text and email notifications for this year's Nov 3 election? The answer is YES! 
 
Though many registration deadlines have passed, it is still important for you to encourage voters to sign up for TurboVote. Users signing up after the registration deadline for the upcoming election will be able to vote in future elections and registered voters can use TurboVote this election cycle to make sure they have the right address for their polling place on Election Day to stay informed about future elections. By reaching out now, you will also ensure that everyone in your community has the opportunity to prepare for future elections by registering, changing their registration or mailing information, and subscribing to election reminders.

Leaderboards
We’ve seen some late surges this past week in registrations. Some have even resulted in brewing in-state rivalries, like Virginia Tech’s climb and UVA’s continued status among our leaders. Either way, we looooove seeing these sign-up numbers and hope you all will keep up the good work!

Leaderboard, Total Sign-ups, Oct. 22:

  1. The University of Virginia - 1660
  2. SUNY Geneseo - 1224
  3. California Polytechnic State University - 1173
  4. Montclair State University - 1059
  5. Ivy Tech Community College - 880
  6. Brigham Young University - 816
  7. Boston College - 801
  8. The Institute of Politics at Harvard University - 740
  9. St. Petersburg College - 715
  10. Virginia Tech - 695
  11. The University of Chicago - 643
  12. Kutztown University - 637
  13. Case Western Reserve University - 557
  14. West Chester University - 513
  15. The Associated Students of Michigan State University - 476
  16. Boise State University - 465
  17. DePaul University - 453
  18. James Madison University - 440
  19. Macomb Community College - 397
  20. Lone Star College - 392
  21. Stanford University - 391
  22. Polk State College - 387
  23. The College of William & Mary - 382
  24. Broward College - 349
  25. Elon University - 346
  26. Miami Dade College - 338
  27. Fort Hays State University - 298
  28. The College Hill Alliance/Mercer University - 291
  29. William Paterson University - 270
  30. Salisbury University - 260
  31. Vassar College - 259
  32. Clarkson University - 254
  33. The State University of New York at Brockport - 248
  34. Piedmont Virginia Community College - 241
  35. University of Nevada, Reno - 239
  36. Brown University - 236
  37. Seminole State College - 228
  38. University of Florida - 228
  39. Seton Hall University - 227
  40. Virginia Commonwealth University - 222
  41. Arizona State University - 220
  42. University of Idaho - 219
  43. Drexel University - 210
  44. Columbia University - 202
  45. Illinois State University - 190
  46. The University of Denver - 185
  47. Hobart and William Smith Colleges - 185
  48. Northeastern Illinois University - 180
  49. Clayton State University - 175
  50. Rollins College - 155

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and talk to you in another two weeks.

Best,
Brandon Naylor
Director of Communications
Democracy Works, makers of TurboVote

How do you get 950 students registered in one day?

Happy October, everyone! There’s plenty of news to share, so let’s get straight to it.

Partner Spotlight: University of Virginia
We recently told you about Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and their efforts to register as many students as possible in one day. They blew us away with over 800 registrations. The University of Virginia, a TurboVote partner since 2013, must have taken that challenge to heart. With one email, they managed to register 950 students in one day! The text of that simple, but effective, email was: 

“The University of Virginia supports students taking responsibility to be engaged community members in addition to excelling academically. To that end, I am writing to provide students who are U.S. citizens with information and materials to vote in every election from local to presidential.

When you sign up at uva.turbovote.org, you will be able to do the following:
Register to vote
Stay registered to vote if you move
Vote absentee
Get reminders about every local, state, and federal election

Whether you vote in Virginia or another state, you are encouraged to take advantage of this resource. Spending a few minutes now will make the voting process easier in the future.”

This just goes to show that your voter outreach doesn’t need to be too complex to achieve impressive results. What can you do to top 950 registered users in one day? Keep up the good work!

IT Grant
TurboVote is always searching for ways to make our online tools better and now you can help do just that. We cordially invite you to join us in our investigation to discover how IT integration of voter registration tools for students can best be integrated on campuses across the country.  Whatever your campus situation, the results of everyone’s experiences with IT integration and voter registration tools for the institutional community will culminate in a more complete picture of what can be done, what might be done, and with what limitations. Through these practices,  colleges and universities have the power to promote civic engagement as a lifelong practice. We think that’s important, and hope you do, too. So, please consider joining us today. The total time commitment for our partners is expected to be around 25 hours and a $1,000 grant will be awarded. If your institution is interested in participating, please have your potential project leader fill out this brief survey as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please feel free to email partnerships@turbovote.org. We think this is a really exciting opportunity and we hope you’ll consider participating.

Leaderboards
You might’ve noticed a few shakeups. Thanks to their impressive one-day signup, UVA has moved into 1st Place while other Top 25 schools continue to add to their count, like Montclair State University, who added 245 registered voters since last week. Keep up the great work, everyone!

Leaderboard, Total Sign-ups, Oct. 8:

  1. The University of Virginia - 1204
  2. SUNY Geneseo - 1192
  3. California Polytechnic State University - 1115
  4. Montclair State University - 966
  5. Ivy Tech Community College - 867
  6. Boston College - 785
  7. Brigham Young University - 771
  8. Kutztown University - 636
  9. The University of Chicago - 631
  10. The Institute of Politics at Harvard University - 614
  11. St. Petersburg College - 563
  12. Case Western Reserve University - 552
  13. West Chester University - 503
  14. Virginia Tech - 497
  15. Boise State University - 462
  16. The Associated Students of Michigan State University - 455
  17. DePaul University - 432
  18. Macomb Community College - 395
  19. Polk State College - 366
  20. James Madison University - 365
  21. Lone Star College - 345
  22. The College of William & Mary - 344
  23. Broward College - 342
  24. Elon University - 338
  25. Miami Dade College - 320

From me and the TurboVote partnerships team, thanks to everyone for all your really outstanding outreach efforts. We love watching these impressive registration numbers grow each week. Keep at it and I’ll talk to you next week!

Best,
Brandon Naylor
Director of Communications
Democracy Works, makers of TurboVote

We've expanded the leaderboard to the Top 50!

Surely, at this time of year, your brain is preoccupied by preparation for midterms and anticipation of turkey with stuffing, but at TurboVote, we’re thinking about elections that are just around the corner. And seeing the registration numbers you are putting up on campuses all over the country, I’m very excited to see what sort of engagement you have planned for the next few weeks.

A Reminder About...Reminders
In case you needed some perspective for just how close the election is, we’ll be notifying you soon. Roughly one month before before the election, we will start to send email reminders to users who requested text and email updates when they signed up for TurboVote. Below is a picture of a reminder we sent to users in Oklahoma in 2014:

We will also send an accompanying text message with the same information. In addition to these reminders, we use text and email to send notifications in advance of registration and absentee ballot request deadlines and on election day with polling location information.

Partner Spotlight: Kennesaw State University
One of the most effective ways to spearhead voter outreach on your campus is to create original content that can be shared across social media channels and campus email. Kennesaw State University decided to make their very own TurboVote promotional video by including the Student Body President, Aaron Roberson, and the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students, Dr. Michael Sanseviro. Sometimes a fun, simple conversation about how TurboVote helps students register and receive reminders is all it takes to reach voters on your campus. If you have an idea or questions about how we can help you with outreach, feel free to email us at partnerships@turbovote.org.

Tips and Tools: Integrating TurboVote into Online Infrastructure
Building TurboVote into your existing online infrastructure and student tools is a very effective way to get students signed up for TurboVote. When students are presented with the opportunity to quickly sign up for TurboVote while they are already at a computer or on their smartphone, they’re much more likely to finish the process of registering to vote. You can easily incorporate this outreach into email, student portals, course pages, or even on-campus computer labs. If you haven’t already, you should check out the Voter Engagement Toolkit to find out more about how you can use these strategies with existing technology.

Leaderboards
This week, I thought we’d include the Top 50 of total signups this year to give us a little bit more perspective. Every time we update these numbers, we get impressed all over again with the effort everyone is showing. There continues to be movement in all segments of the leaderboard, which just goes to show you a few days can make all the difference. Keep up the great work!

Leaderboard, Total Sign-ups, Sept. 30:

  1. SUNY Geneseo - 1188
  2. California Polytechnic State University - 1029
  3. Montclair State University - 876
  4. Boston College - 768
  5. Brigham Young University - 708
  6. Ivy Tech Community College - 659
  7. Kutztown University - 624
  8. The University of Chicago - 610
  9. The Institute of Politics at Harvard University - 589
  10. Case Western Reserve University - 525
  11. West Chester University - 466
  12. St. Petersburg College - 462
  13. Boise State University - 461
  14. Virginia Tech - 449
  15. DePaul University - 417
  16. Macomb Community College - 379
  17. Polk State College - 362
  18. Broward College - 338
  19. Elon University - 334
  20. The College of William & Mary - 333
  21. Miami Dade College - 313
  22. Stanford University - 294
  23. Fort Hays State University - 282
  24. Vassar College - 259
  25. Clarkson University - 250
  26. The College Hill Alliance/Mercer University - 247
  27. James Madison University - 231
  28. Salisbury University - 228
  29. University of Florida - 225
  30. Brown University - 224
  31. William Paterson University - 224
  32. University of Nevada, Reno - 222
  33. Lone Star College - 219
  34. Arizona State University - 206
  35. Seminole State College - 203
  36. Virginia Commonwealth University - 195
  37. Piedmont Virginia Community College - 193
  38. Drexel University - 181
  39. Hobart and William Smith Colleges - 178
  40. Seton Hall University - 177
  41. Northeastern Illinois University - 176
  42. The University of Denver - 167
  43. Clayton State University - 149
  44. Simpson College - 147
  45. Rollins College - 146
  46. Towson University - 142
  47. Palm Beach State College - 135
  48. The State University of New York at Brockport - 125
  49. Salt Lake Community College - 125
  50. University of Idaho - 123

What a great way to round out the month of September! Don’t forget, some states still have plenty of time before registration deadlines, so now is the time to redouble efforts to get as many students registered as possible. And before you know it, tests will be done for a while and you’ll be sitting down to eat all the cranberry sauce you can stomach. We’re so impressed by your dedication and ingenuity to engage your campus — keep up the great work!

Best,
Brandon Naylor
Director of Communications
Democracy Works, makers of TurboVote

Can you register 800 students in one day?

I hope you had a great National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) on Tuesday! This is a big week for us nerds in the civic engagement arena and we are so impressed by your efforts to register as many voters as possible, as evidenced by the leaderboards. Just because we built up to NVRD, though, doesn’t mean we can stop now. There is still plenty of time to arrange events and outreach to find even more students that haven’t yet registered to vote.

Partner Spotlight: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
If you need more proof that you can sign up large numbers of students at once, look no further than Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Annalee Akin, Office of Governmental Affairs student intern, and ASI Student Government leadership, identified student bottlenecks on campus, which are opportunities where students are gathered in one place, making it easier to sign up more people in a short period of time. The particular bottleneck they identified and focused on was campus move-in day. 30 trained volunteers from greek life, ASI Student Government, and campus political organizations all gave 5 minute speeches to approximately 5000 students who were attending campus move-in meetings to encourage them to become civically engaged. Volunteers asked questions about the number of votes it took to declare victory in the most recent mayoral and city council elections (approx. 9,000 and 5,000 respectively), then asked the number of students on campus (approx. 20,000). Volunteers used this to make the point that Cal Poly students could have a real voice in elections if they all voted at once, though it didn’t hurt that students with the correct answer received candy. After volunteer presentations, students were asked to get out their smartphones, tablets, and computers to sign up for TurboVote. As a result, Cal Poly signed up 800 students in one day, leapfrogging to the top of our leaderboards! What are similar bottlenecks on your campus? Can you organize something similar and beat Cal Poly’s single-day number? Be sure to check out the Voter Engagement Toolkit for tips and tools for reaching out around campus, as well as other partner success stories. If you have ideas or questions, feel free to get in touch with us at partnerships@turbovote.org.

New IT Grant Available
TurboVote is always searching for ways to make our online tools better and now you can help do just that. We’re happy to announce the creation of a new information technology grant that will help us discover the best ways to integrate with campus online infrastructures. Participating partner institutions will choose a campus project leader who will conduct a total of 10 interviews with people in identified key departments using a prepared questionnaire. The results will be gathered by our research team in order to prepare a report that will be shared with all of our partners in March. The total time commitment for our partners is expected to be around 25 hours and a $1,000 grant will be awarded to cover expenses. If your institution is interested in participating, please have your potential project leader fill out this brief survey by September 30th, 2015. If you have any questions, please feel free to email partnerships@turbovote.org. We think this is a really exciting opportunity and we hope you’ll consider participating.

Leaderboards
There’s a lot of turnover in the leaderboards this week. We’ve got some new partners that have broken into the Top 25 and we’ve got some familiar names staying near the top. Impressive numbers all around...but I think we can do even better. Let’s see if we can shatter these numbers by the end of September!

Leaderboard, Total Sign-ups, Sept. 24:

  1. SUNY Geneseo - 1154
  2. California Polytechnic State University - 992
  3. Montclair State University - 721
  4. Boston College - 701
  5. The Institute of Politics at Harvard University - 579
  6. The University of Chicago - 559
  7. Ivy Tech Community College - 530
  8. Case Western Reserve University - 519
  9. Brigham Young University - 498
  10. Kutztown University - 482
  11. Boise State University - 444
  12. DePaul University - 408
  13. St. Petersburg College - 366
  14. Virginia Tech - 353
  15. Polk State College - 344
  16. Broward College - 335
  17. Macomb Community College - 324
  18. Miami Dade College - 312
  19. The College of William & Mary - 310
  20. Elon University - 296
  21. West Chester University - 284
  22. Fort Hays State University - 276
  23. Stanford University - 271
  24. Vassar College - 258
  25. Clarkson University - 243

Leaderboard, Sign-ups as a % of student population, Sept. 24:

  1. SUNY Geneseo - 20.97%
  2. Case Western Reserve University - 11.13%
  3. Vassar College - 10.42%
  4. The University of Chicago - 9.88%
  5. The Institute of Politics at Harvard University - 8.61%
  6. Simpson College - 8.35%
  7. Clarkson University - 7.81%
  8. Boston College - 7.75%
  9. Hastings College - 7.60%
  10. Rollins College - 7.51%
  11. Piedmont Virginia Community College - 6.42%
  12. Ringling College - 6.23%
  13. Hobart and William Smith Colleges - 6.00%
  14. Chatham University - 5.73%
  15. Kutztown University - 5.47%
  16. California Polytechnic State University - 5.29%
  17. Elon University - 5.29%
  18. The College Hill Alliance/Mercer University - 5.23%
  19. Polk State College - 5.09%
  20. The College of William & Mary - 4.94%
  21. Montclair State University - 4.67%
  22. Castleton State College - 4.11%
  23. Stanford University - 3.84%
  24. Bates College - 3.69%
  25. Adventist University of Health Sciences - 3.49%
  26. Brown University - 3.42%
  27. Middlebury College - 3.21%
  28. Seton Hall University - 3.01%
  29. Salisbury University - 2.85%
  30. Macomb Community College - 2.52%
  31. DePaul University - 2.48%

From me and the TurboVote partnerships team, I just want to thank you for all your efforts. These numbers are impressive and we love watching them grow each week. Let’s keep the momentum building and I’ll talk to you next week!

Best,
Brandon Naylor
Director of Communications
Democracy Works, makers of TurboVote

It's the (other) most wonderful time of the year!

Autumn’s arrival tends to bring to mind images of changing leaves, excitement about early-season football, or the arrival of pumpkin-spiced everything. But at Democracy Works, the start of fall means only one thing: IT’S VOTER ENGAGEMENT SEASON!

National Voter Registration Day (NVRD)
We’re always glad when NVRD comes around—it’s a big holiday for us civic engagement nerds, and we’ll take any excuse we can to bust out bow ties to celebrate (even if it’s hard to get the team to sit still long enough for a photo).

This is the fourth-ever NVRD, but this one’s a little more special. As it turns out, NVRD has become such a big deal that even the White House is getting on board. If you’d like to join us, the White House, and thousands of other civic organizations across the country, you can download some National Voter Registration Day swag and send your friends and family to register (or update their voter registrations) at TurboVote.

Voter Engagement Toolkit
In preparation for voting season, the partnerships team has been working on a Voter Engagement Toolkit all summer, and the first version is now ready for you to take a look! We compiled the toolkit for our partners to serve as a resource for how best to implement TurboVote on campuses and convert their students into lifelong voters. 

We’ve released the toolkit in both online and PDF formats. You can download the PDF version and print it, but the online version is accessible, too, in case you’re on your smartphone. However you choose to view it, we hope you’ll take a look and enjoy the information, as well as the case studies of previous implementations. This really was a labor of love and getting to read some of our favorite success stories helped remind us why we love doing what we do. 

We would like to thank all of the partners who have shared information with us specifically for the toolkit, but also generally over the years. It is a community of passionate, talented, altruistic people and they are all amazing in our eyes.

Staff Updates
We’re hiring again! In preparation for a big 2016, we’re looking for a campus outreach lead to bring TurboVote to ever more colleges and universities, as well as two partnerships associates to help our partners maximize their civic impact. Please send them out to the most talented individuals (and/or dynamic duos) you know. 

Since our last update, we’ve welcomed another new senior developer, Daniel Glauser, to our Denver team. After years of writing software and exploring rivers across the country, Daniel settled in Colorado, where he could pursue both. An active member of the local tech scene, Daniel has given numerous presentations on programming languages, architecture, and design, and helped others improve their coding skills (or even break into programming) through the Den of Clojure for the past five years. Daniel has worked on large-scale websites, scalable backend systems, computer vision and machine learning, and numerous other projects. He's been a friend of Democracy Works since the early days, and is really happy to become a card-carrying member of the team.

Until next time
Be sure to #CelebrateNVRD with some fall leaves, football, and pumpkin spice flavoring. Or bow ties, or however it is that you celebrate democracy.

JOB: TurboVote Partnerships Associate

UPDATE: As of November 25, we are no longer accepting applications for this position.

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

TurboVote, our first service, tracks an individual voter’s elections. We provide all the materials and information they need to get registered, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national—and we’ll even mail forms with an addressed, stamped envelope for the local election office. Ballot Scout helps local election administrators track absentee ballots as they travel through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry. We also work with the Pew Charitable Trusts and Google to ensure that the Voting Information Project’s data is up-to-date and ready from one election to the next.

The Democracy Works partnerships team recruits institutes of higher education, organizations, and local governments to promote voter engagement to their students and members and provides support to these partners as they use our technology. We work with hundreds of colleges and universities and more than a dozen nonprofit organizations to provide TurboVote to their constituents.

In 2016, our goals in higher education are: 1) to invest in our existing partners (i.e., colleges, universities, and higher ed consortiums) by helping them build more comprehensive programs for voter engagement and; 2) to bring on new partners in a way that sets them up for substantial success in using TurboVote. In order to accomplish these goals, we’re looking for a multitalented organizer, customer-service whisperer, and all around people-person to join our team.

As a Partnerships Associate for TurboVote, you will strengthen relationships with each of our partners and work closely with them to ensure they are using our technology strategically. You’ll become an expert in the world of higher education and cultivate a passion for promoting civic engagement. Also, as the primary contact for some of our partners, you will help test and train partners on new features as we improve the platform. Finally, you will be responsible for renewing the TurboVote annual contract with the higher education partners you regularly work with and may close deals to bring on new partners.

You will:

  • Execute an outreach plan to keep our partners engaged throughout the year and ensure that they’re prepared for elections as they approach.
  • Build relationships with current and potential partners across the country, supporting their campus programs (you’ll spend a lot of time on the phone).
  • Maintain partner records so every partner gets the customized treatment they need.
  • Collect feedback from partner organizations and use it to propose new training materials, best practices, and features.
  • Set ambitious annual voter engagement plans with our partners and follow up to provide the resources necessary to make them happen.

You are:

  • A fantastic listener with an ability to read between the lines
  • Enthusiastic about making cold calls and new friends
  • Exceptionally organized, able to prioritize time effectively and multi-task
  • A leader who knows how to motivate others and inspire them to succeed
  • Comfortable navigating bureaucracy and a foe of red tape
  • Excited to learn sales strategies and have the confidence to close deals with prospective college partners.

You have experience:

  • Working with CRM tools (preferably Insightly) and proficiency in Excel
  • Providing excellent customer/constituent service for a diverse audience
  • Working for campaigns or grassroots organizations doing direct contact outreach
  • Writing in a wide variety of media, from email newsletter to how-to guides

Salary is competitive and commensurate with education and experience. Democracy Works also offers a competitive benefits package including health insurance and vacation. We’re based in Brooklyn, NY and Denver, CO, and we hope you’ll want to work from our Brooklyn office–though we’ll consider remote arrangements for the perfect candidate.

To apply, send a resume and introduction to Matt and Katy at work@democracy.works with the subject “Will support democracy.”

We are inspired by the idea of building an awesome and truly diverse team, so we strongly encourage applicants of all races, colors, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to diversity or about general hiring practices.

JOB: Campus Outreach Lead

UPDATE: As of November 25, we are no longer accepting applications for this position.

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

TurboVote, our first service, tracks an individual voter’s elections. We provide all the materials and information they need to get registered, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national—and we’ll even mail forms with an addressed, stamped envelope for the local election office. Ballot Scout helps local election administrators track absentee ballots as they travel through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry. We also work with the Pew Charitable Trusts and Google to ensure that the Voting Information Project’s data is up-to-date and ready from one election to the next.

The Democracy Works partnerships team recruits schools, organizations, and local governments to promote voter engagement to their students and members and provides support to these partners as they use our technology. We work with hundreds of colleges and universities and more than a dozen nonprofit organizations to provide TurboVote to their constituents.

In 2016, our goals in higher education are: 1) to invest in our existing partners (i.e., colleges, universities, and higher ed consortiums) by helping them build more comprehensive programs for voter engagement and; 2) to bring on new partners in a way that sets them up for substantial success in using TurboVote. In order to accomplish these goals, we’re looking for a multitalented organizer and deal-closer to join our team.

Where you will fit in: As the campus outreach lead, you will be responsible for renewing contracts with existing partners and bringing on new partners by generating leads, carrying those leads through the nonprofit equivalent of a “sales cycle,” and closing deals. In this role, you will build relationships with key stakeholders and assess what partnership structure is most likely to lead to success with each institution. You’ll become an expert in the world of higher education and cultivate a passion for promoting civic engagement. Also, you will have the persistence to navigate red tape and work with bureaucratic organizations.

Your job will include:

  • Generating new leads
  • Identifying and creating opportunities for program growth
  • Attending relevant conferences and meetings; identifying speaking opportunities; and promoting the TurboVote program at those events
  • Enthusiastically promoting our mission
  • Diligently collecting and entering data into a constituent management system (a database) so that relationships can be tracked and actively managed

You are:  

  • Driven, with a deep sense of purpose
  • A master of persuasion
  • Diligent in your follow-up and in chasing an opportunity over time and space
  • Happiest in a fast-paced work environment
  • An excellent oral and written communicator
  • Self-confident, bold and energetic
  • Someone who relishes a challenge and is not afraid of “no”

You have:

  • Experience making cold calls, tracking down decisionmakers, and researching leads
  • A proven track record of meeting or exceeding individual goals
  • Familiarity with higher education, government, large corporations, or another cautious, deliberate work culture
  • Experience in nonprofit sales, business development, or junior account management roles (preferred, but not necessary)

Salary is competitive and commensurate with education and experience. Democracy Works also offers a competitive benefits package including health insurance and vacation. Our headquarters is in Brooklyn, NY and strongly prefer that you work from that office–though we’ll consider remote arrangements for the perfect candidate.

To apply, send a resume and introduction to Mike at work@democracy.works with the subject “Will find partners for democracy.”

We are inspired by the idea of building an awesome and truly diverse team, so we strongly encourage applicants of all races, colors, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to diversity or about general hiring practices.