As Marion County voters head to the polls, an online tool is helping them measure how long they may have to wait in line. If early voting is any indication, voters should continue to expect long lines and lengthy waits.
A consortium of tech companies created software and a website to track wait times, relying on registered volunteers at polling places to record the times.
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, IN Tech for Progress founder and Chief Executive Officer Roger Deetz said the coalition is trying to get tech workers more engaged in political and community issues.
“Clearly the idea is resonating. We feel like this is something that could be taken statewide and even beyond. And from the tech community’s perspective. We’re collecting a lot of data here that we think can be used then to influence public policy going forward,” said Deetz, who is also chief technology officer for Springbuk.
The coalition, IN Tech for Progress, includes employees from Anvl, Lessonly, and Springbuk, all Software-as-a-Service providers. They partnered with nonprofit organization Vote Safe Indiana, which is advocating for mail-in and no-fault absentee voting.
“We have a ton of folks in the tech community interested in being more engaged. And so, I think showing the success of this first project will really build momentum to work on future projects,” said Deetz.
Volunteers at polling places are using Anvl’s SaaS platform, which is usually used to monitor safety compliance in construction and manufacturing sites, to capture the data. Another platform, Lessonly, will host the data.
The site consists of verified and unverified wait times. Deetz says verified wait times will be reported by the volunteers.
Right now, the organization has approximately volunteers taking shifts at each of the remote locations. On election day, they expect to have enough volunteers to cover about one-third of the 188 voting centers throughout Marion County. Deetz says they intend to staff volunteers at the polling places which are typically the busiest.
To view the website, click here.