Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner today announced that she has partnered with the online startup BallotReady on a cutting-edge informational tool for Allegheny County voters.
“BallotReady Allegheny provides voters a ‘one-stop shop’ to find their polling location and view the offices and candidates on their ballot. This is the type of innovation that government has lagged behind in providing to citizens,” Wagner said.
BallotReady also allows voters to set a text or e-mail reminder to vote at their desired time on Election Day.
“Voter turnout in the 2015 off-year general election, which is comparable to the election that will be held on Tuesday, was just 26 percent of those registered,” Wagner said. “While there are many reasons for voter apathy, one factor is that our democratic process has not kept up with changes in the way we get information. BallotReady Allegheny puts the facts citizens need to be ready to cast their vote at their fingertips.”
BallotReady is a Chicago-based startup whose founders are passionate about engaging citizens in civic life. The partnership with Controller Wagner will mark the first time BallotReady has partnered with a local government to provide their innovative service to voters.
"We believe that elected officials matter — at all levels of government. That’s why we’re so excited to be partnering with an innovative official like Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner to help voters make a plan and turn out to vote in every election," said Alex Niemczewski, co-founder and CEO of BallotReady.
“This initiative will make Allegheny County a national example of how to better engage and inform voters through technology,” Wagner said.
BallotReady Allegheny is just the latest of Wagner’s initiatives to provide greater government transparency through online resources. Last year, she launched her office’s OpenGov Allegheny platform, providing up-to-date, interactive information on County finances and other data. Her office also posts online in real time all contracts executed by the County.
All of these resources can be accessed at AlleghenyController.com. BallotReady Allegheny can be accessed directly at AlleghenyController.com/BallotReady.