Information Voters Can Actually Use

October 23, 2012 by Ryan Reynolds

As the election season heats up, voters are being inundated with all sorts of information from candidates and all sorts of organizations. Topics range from big ideological discussions on the economy, the auto industry, family values and secure borders to minutia like the most economical way to secure a pet to the family car for international travel. But even with all this discussion of who you should (or more often shouldn't) vote for, it seems we're missing one core piece of information: when, where, and for whom can we vote?

MSDS is proud to say that through our work with Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, there's an app for that. Well, it's not an app per se…more of a database-driven responsive website, really. But in an election season that's emphasized how we can prevent people from easily getting to the polls and exercizing their constitutional right, Who's on the Ballot? fills a critical void in the election process by supplying voters with all kinds of pertinent election information to help make voting easier than ever before.

What's more, Who's on the Ballot? is addressing this issue by targeting local and municipal elections at the district level—the kinds of races that often generate far less enthusiasm and turnout than their national bretheren, but in which each individual vote and voice has greater impact, both on the election and communities.

Here's how it works.

Voters learn about the site, either through traditional advertising, social media, or partners, and they visit They fill in their street address, and immediately they're taken to a screen where they can see when and where the next election for their district is, who's on the ballot, and for what seats. They can also find helpful links to register to vote, visit candidate's official websites. They can even set reminders, use social media to encourage voter turnout by sharing with friends, or print out their results to take with them to the ballot box so they know exactly when, where, and for whom they want to vote.

So, if you are a registered voter living in New York City, we encourage you to give a shot. Its simple interface makes it easier than ever for people to participate at all levels of our democratic process (if we do say so ourselves) and have a say about what they would like to see happen at the local, state, and national level of governments.

About Ryan Reynolds

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