Open source the vote

Open source the vote

Summary: There's now an open-source application to let your Web site visitors register to vote in the U.S. elections.

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Open source the vote with this Ruby-based voter registration program.

Want to do your part in the upcoming U.S. presidential elections? There's an open-source app. For that.

The Democratic party has released a Ruby on Rails open-source program, Voter Registration that enables you to deploy a Web application that enables U.S. citizens to register to vote. There is also a version that you can simply embed on your site, which is branded for the Obama/Biden campaign. The open-source version is unbranded so there's nothing on it that even a Tea Party member could object to.

To deploy the open-source version, your Web site will need to have Ruby 1.9.3 installed and the the RubyGem "bundler" installed. RubyGem is the Ruby package manager. The campaign branded version can be placed on any Web site by simply embedding the following code:

<iframe id="gottaregister" name="1_1" src="https://gottaregister.com/?brand=embed&source=" width="460" frameborder="" height="500" style="display: block; overflow: hidden; margin: auto; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 20px; border: 0 moz-border-radius: 0; webkit-border-radius: 0; border-radius: 0; "></iframe>

on the appropriate page of your site.

Both versions present a potential voter with a fill-in-the-blank voter registration form. This information is then used to generate a National Voter Registration Form in PDF. This form can then be printed out and turned in to your state voter registration office. If a would-be voter is from a state that allows online voter registration, the form passes you, and your information, to your state's online voter registration page.

If you just want to register online to vote, you can also do so with the non-partisan version of the program from a cloud-based Voter Registration site. There the application runs off the Heroku cloud platform.

The Democrats aren't the only ones trying to make it easy for voters to register. Google has partnered with TurboVote to make it easy to register. So, if you want to have a say in this year's election, it's time to get moving. Registration deadlines are rapidly approaching in most states.

Related Stories:

An undecided voter on President Obama's convention

Diary of an undecided voter (GOP convention edition)

Topics: Open Source, Browser, Government, Government US, Networking, Servers

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9 comments
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  • Was it written by...

    ...Acorn perhaps???
    cornpie
  • So only the Republicans

    are making it more difficult for people to vote, due to the spectre of voter fraud - currently around 10 cases since 2000. I wonder why they're doing it?

    Nah I'm kidding, I know why they're doing it.

    If you can't beat 'em, cheat ;-)
    Tony_McS
    • The RNC has already stated why they are for voter suppression laws

      The right to vote is a sacred right. The RNC is doing their part to make sure a U.S. citizen’s right to vote is not diluted by minority voters.
      Your Non Advocate
      • Wrong Again

        The Republicans are all for registering any and all legal US citizens, but aren't very excited by the possibility of large numbers of foreigners and dead people voting.

        Then there is the crazy cat lady in Florida who has registered each of her 50 cats to vote, and casts ballots for each of them.

        You are correct that there haven't been any real prosecutions for voter fraud since oh, about 2008. Could that have anything to do with this President being from Chicago?

        Oh, and one more thing, Why does the White House not want to allow more time for Military Service members who are overseas to get their ballots back? You can't claim that these fine people are not Citizens, while ballots are being sent in to California, Illinois and New York from Chad and Somalia, now can you?

        Sorry, but, establishing Citizenship is a fine thing. Fraud is not.
        YetAnotherBob
        • In addition...

          They're also not terribly interested in poor people voting unless they're really motivated (because they mostly vote for Democrats). It's also true that Republicans have favored very tight immigration controls because naturalized citizens mostly vote Democratic and have since the days of Andrew Jackson (I've even seen some Conservative bloggers admit as much).

          Concern about fraud is the official reason for Republican vote suppression efforts and is definitely the reason they give their supporters, but the primary interest still appears to be to minimize the number of likely Democratic votes.
          John L. Ries
    • Oy!

      Tony, have you had your brain lubed every 5,000 miles? This whole lie about the Republicans suppressing voters depends on jerks like you perpetuating this fable.

      Democrats have been the overwhelming perpetrators of voting crime in the last 130 years in this country. It's in the judicial record, but of course, that may get erased someday, too.

      Can you say Black Panthers? Of course, when REAL voter suppression happens, the Dept. of Injustice just blows it off.
      Lib Thrasher
      • yep, rpublicans

        rely on family to fix the vote in the states... Bush is a prime example
        deaf_e_kate
    • So, only the Republicans (can Commit Voter Fraud?)

      Witness the incredibly vanishing "Pro Ron Paul" District votes in the primaries? My personal favorite was when the televised media listed the results of one major Primary in reverse order, showing Romney (with the fewest votes) at the top and Ron Paul (with the most votes) at the bottom? Then the one where Paul clearly won by a landslide yet was ignored by the media. All manner of trickery for mindless mass consumption this season! The fourth Estate is truly dead and buried. Presidents Kennedy and Eisenhower both, must surely be spinning in their respective graves over the actual "State" of our Union.
      Joe Taibi Jr.
  • I think i'll vote mutliple times this year myself

    and once as tony mcs

    All straight republican ticket..acorn style!
    TrishaDishaWarEagle