Mobile App Showing Georgia Dropbox Locations Created in Hours With Free Software and Crowdsourcing

3 mins read

Voters need information fast in a form that’s easily used. Phone based apps work well, but often take a lot of time and money to create. How does a small group with limited funds and tech expertise quickly create a map based app for their project?

This blog explains how ROV volunteers created a mobile app with Georgia dropbox locations in a day. Volunteers collected dropbox locations by crowdsourcing in a Google Sheet which was converted into a mobile app with the free GlideApps software without any programming. Voters can easily find their closest dropbox location from a phone or laptop – without having to instal an app.

Georgia Absentee Ballot Dropboxes

“Many Georgia counties offer Absentee Ballot Dropboxes for the January 5th runoff elections. Voters do not need a postage stamp to return their ballots at a drop box, but they must use a drop box located in their registered county. Other counties without drop boxes, but let voters return their ballots in person at their county Board of Registrations and Elections office. Ballots must be RECEIVED by 7PM on election day to be counted.” – Georgia Voter Guide

Reclaim Our Vote (ROV) wanted to offer Georgia voters:
– A single resource to with details on both Absentee Ballot Dropbox and County Board of Registrations offices
– The ability for ROV to collect and update information as dropbox locations change
– A simple way for voters to access this information from a phone or laptop with the least amount of click
– The ability to search for location and also get driving directions
– The resource that could be rolled out quickly as early voting had already started
– A solution that could be used on phones without requiring an app to be installed

GlideApps makes it easy to generate interactive mobile apps such as this one which show Georgia Absentee Dropbox locations.
How information about dropboxes is collected and updated in a Google Sheet.

Volunteers enter and update on drop box locations in a Google Sheet. Changes in the sheet automatically update the mobile app.

How the system works
ROV volunteers collect details on Dropbox locations and enter them into a Google Sheet and also keep it updated with new information.
Google Sheets allows multiple volunteers to enter and update data at the same time.
The information from the Google Sheet is converted into a mobile app using the free GlideApps solution.
The ROV map of Absentee Dropbox Locations is shared as a link (https://georgia-dropbox.glideapp.io/) which can be used from a phone or laptop.

Takeaway
Software has become much easier to use and flexible to meet many of the needs of grassroots groups, non-profits and campaigns. Consider free apps like GlideApps and Google Sheets for your next project.

Deepak
DemLabs

Image credit: Wikimedia
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Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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