Rock the Vote Goes “Open Source” in Partnership with OSDV Foundation’s TrustTheVote Project

Rock the Vote and Open Source Digital Voting (OSDV) Foundation’s TrustTheVote Project are partnering to introduce new online voter registration tools based on open source technology.  The TrustTheVote Project will provide its open source technology platform to enable Rock the Vote to streamline and improve the user-facing registration process and help State elections offices process registration forms.  

“Last year, Rock the Vote ran the largest non-partisan youth voter registration drive in history, helping a record number of young people participate in the elections process through online, mobile, and grassroots outreach,” said Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote. 

“The sheer volume of voter registration applications particularly seen in the last election puts a tremendous strain on elections officials across the country.  Millions of new voter registration forms land in elections offices days before deadlines, and precisely at the time when staff are most focused on the important work of actually conducting elections,” added Smith.  Through this new technology we hope to work closely with election officials in creating a more streamlined and efficient process. 

“That’s where the TrustTheVote Project can help,” said Gregory Miller, Co-Executive Director of the OSDV Foundation. “We’re excited about this alliance with Rock the Vote because it allows the Foundation’s TrustTheVote Project to advance our cause of publicly owned technology to modernize the voter registration process.  We have been collaborating with States’ Elections Directors who are pleased to see so many citizens register, but wary of the bottleneck created by new registrations which require manual re-entry of data from the signed forms.” 

“In furtherance of our open source mandate,” said John Sebes, Chief Technology Officer of the Foundation and the TrustTheVote Project, “we aspire to provide States with a standard means and data protocol to receive voter registration data digitally, if they so choose.  This way, officials only need to digitally scan the signed registration form to verify it against previously received digital data and digitally capture the signature. Elections staff can more efficiently verify data and signatures, and bypass labor-intensive data re-entry.” 

“The advantage of partnering with the TrustTheVote Project,” added Ms. Smith, “is that it combines their expertise in voter registration technology and Rock the Vote’s 18 year history in reaching and mobilizing America’s young voters to participate in politics.  

Rock the Vote expects to begin roll out of its new online voter registration system based on the TrustTheVote Project technology in time for this fall’s election season. 
About the TrustTheVote Project and the OSDV Foundation: 
The Open Source Digital Voting (OSDV) Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public benefits organization dedicated to sustaining development efforts to create freely available, open source technology for use in managing elections and conducting voting in the U.S.  The Foundation’s flagship effort is the TrustTheVote Project – a digital public works project, creating freely available open source elections technology maintained in a public trust to ensure free access and transparency.  The design process relies on a collaboration of States’ elections officials consorting in a growing stakeholder community to review and comment on all design specifications.  The project work is conducted by a small team of highly experienced technology architects, supported by a volunteer community of developers, voting technology experts, and policy specialists. 
About Rock The Vote: 
Rock the Vote’s mission is to engage and build the political power of young people in order to achieve progressive change in our country.  Rock the Vote uses music, popular culture and new technologies to engage and incite young people to register and vote in every election. And we give young people the tools to identify, learn about, and take action on the issues that affect their lives, and leverage their power in the political process.