Getting Started with Your Civic Tech Tools

Signing Up to Be a Partner

20 years ago, Rock the Vote built the first-ever online voter registration tool to make it simpler for young people to vote. Ever since, our team has worked to develop and make cutting edge civic engagement tools available to our partners.

Rock the Vote offers our suite of Civic Tech tools to our partners for basic and premium use. Basic use of our tools allows partners to link to our tools for free on their website. This can be accessed on our Tech for Civic Engagement page. Premium use of our tools includes customization and robust data reporting capabilities.

To request more information on premium Civic Tech and to view our Rate Sheet, email us at civictech@rockthevote.org.

The Partner Portal

The Partner Portal allows Premium Partners to customize the look and feel of their Civic Tech tools, track progress, and grab unique embed codes to place the Rock the Vote suite of tools onto their website.

Under the “Customization” page of the Portal, partners can upload logos, edit survey questions asked during voter registration, select a button to place on external pages and submit customized branding for their UI and email.

Partners with knowledge of CSS can use the Partner Portal to fully customize their suite of voter engagement tools: after accessing the Partner Portal, they will have the option to update or overwrite the default CSS. For a simpler approach, Partners can upload a logo to appear in the header of the tools. The Partner Portal also gives access to the autoresponder or chaser emails that are automatically sent to registrants and voters.

The Partner Portal is also where Partners access reports to track their efforts. New reports can be generated for any time period, and existing reports can be downloaded. 

To gain access to the Partner Portal, email civictech@rockthevote.org

Setting Up Your User Account: Multiple Factor Authentication

Your Partner Platform will provide you with user data from your Rock the Vote tools. To ensure the security of this data and comply with NIST information security standards, users must enable Multiple Factor Authentication (MFA) in order to access their accounts.

Step 1: Install an authenticator app

If you have not previously done so, you will need to download an authenticator app onto your phone. There are several options, including Authy, Duo Mobile, Google Authenticator, or Windows Phone Authenticator. You only need to download one.

Step 2: Add your Rock the Vote account to your authenticator app

At the bottom of the page, you will see a QR code (a square with pixels in it). Using the authenticator app, take a picture of the QR code. Once you have done this, you should see a new account in your authenticator app.

Once you see the new account in your authenticator app, click the red “Continue setup” button.

Step 3: Verify that your account is configured properly.

Return to your authenticator app. Find the new account you have set up, and enter the six digit number you see there in the box labeled “Verification Code.” Click “Enable two-factor authentication.”

You will be taken to the Partner Portal for the Partner ID that you were added to when your User account was set up.

* Prior to November 2021, Rock the Vote’s Partner Portal only required a password to log in. If you had an account prior to November 2021, the first time you access the Partner Portal, click “Forgot your password?” and go through the password reset to access your account. If you are are unable to log in, please fill out a Partner Support request. You can also fill out a Support request if you get locked out of your account.

User Accounts and the Partner Platform

To use Rock the Vote’s Partner Platform, you will need two things: a User account to log in and a Partner ID.

User acccounts

You will become a User in one of two ways: after contacting civictech@rockthevote.org to have a new Partner ID created for you or when another user adds you to a Partner’s tool.*

From your User account, click “Edit user profile” in the upper right corner of the Partner Platform to edit your name, email address and phone number. You can also update your password.

Partner IDs

Your Partner ID is the three-to-five digit number assigned to your Partner after the creation of your widget. With a Partner ID, you will have access to the Partner Platform.

The Rock the Vote Partner Platform is the hub for information about who is using your tool and how your tool looks.

User accounts and Partner IDs

User accounts and Partner IDs stand alone but work together. A Partner ID can have one or many User accounts associated with it. Once you have been added to a Partner ID, you will be able to see the Partner Portal for that Partner ID via your User account.

Partner IDs can have just one or multiple Users, and you will see all Users who have access on the Partner Portal. If your User account is affiliated with multiple Partners who use Rock the Vote’s tools, you will have access to all of those Partner IDs.

Navigating Between Partner IDs

If you are a User for multiple Partner IDs, click “Change partner” in the upper right corner of the Partner Platform to be taken to the “Partners Dashboard” where you can view all Partner IDs that you have access to.

Adding Users to a Partner ID

You can add or remove Users to a Partner ID via the Partner Portal.

Click “Users” from the top toolbar. You will see a list of all of the Users who have access to the Partner ID.

Clicking “remove from <Partner name>” will remove their access to your Partner Platform. If they have access to other Partner IDs, they will still be able to view those, as well as the profile information for their User account.

To add a new User, enter their email address and click the red “Add” button. The new User will receive an email that they have been added to the Partner ID. If they do not have an account, they will get instructions on how to create one.

* Prior to November 2021, Partner IDs had single accounts. They were limited to one User/email address/login per Partner. Users are now able to access multiple Partners, and Partners may have multiple users associated with them. If you had an account prior to November 2021, the first time you access the Partner Portal, click “Forgot your password?” and go through the password reset to access your account. If you are are unable to log in, please fill out a Partner Support request. You can also fill out a Support request if you get locked out of your account.

Using the Rock the Vote Tools

What Tools Are Available to Rock the Vote Partners?

The following tools are available to Rock the Vote Partners:

  • Online Voter Registration (OVR): Available in 13 languages, our OVR platform provides eligible registrants nationwide with the most streamlined method for voter registration.
  • Pledge to Vote Tool: Mobilizes users with targeted, nonpartisan election reminders, or real-time, sourced information on how users can engage in upcoming federal, state and local elections.
  • Voter Status Lookup Tool: Provides a simple way to see if and where voters are registered and is particularly helpful for voters who move frequently
  • Absentee Ballot Request Tool: Helps each user navigate state laws to find the best process to request an absentee ballot for their specific situation through a two-step process modeled after Rock the Vote’s OVR platform.

Basic use of our tools allows partners to link to our tools for free on their website. This can be accessed on our Tech for Civic Engagement pageRock the Vote’s Premium Partners are able to customize and pull in-depth data reports from all tools.

To request more information on premium Civic Tech and to view our Rate Sheet, email us at civictech@rockthevote.org.

Using and Sharing the Rock the Vote Tools

Your Partner Portal offers easy options to get your suite of civic technology tools to users. Log into the Partner Portal to access the code and complete instructions on how to use them.

Embeds:

Embed codes are available for all of the Rock the Vote tools. Grab this code and plug it into a website for seamless integration. If you’ve customized the look of your tool by adding a logo or using customized CSS (white labeling), this branding will carry through to your embedded tool. The embed code includes your Partner ID number, so you can access data on users who register, request an absentee ballot, look up their voter status, or pledge to vote through any of these embeds.

Share your tool:

The Partner Portal also offers banners and buttons to use on your website, as well as custom links and social sharing code.

The Absentee Ballot Request Tool

The Absentee Ballot Request tool

The Absentee Ballot Request tool identifies the most streamlined way for each voter to request their absentee ballot and guides them through that process. If applicable, voters can select the election they’d like to request a ballot for and can repeat the process as many times as necessary to generate a request for each election. In designing the interface, Rock the Vote has been extremely careful to prevent forms from being denied by election officials.

The interface functions the same way as the Online Voter Registration tool. Users begin by by entering their name, email address, and zip code, just like when registering to vote. Depending on the zip code the user provides, they will go through the corresponding state flow to request an absentee ballot.

In most states, the information voters enter will be checked against a third party file of registered voters. If a match is found, the voter will be presented with their information in order to confirm whether or not this is their information. If they approve of the match, they will continue on to request an absentee ballot. If a match is not found or the information is inaccurate, the voter is presented with the option to continue and request a ballot regardless, to check with directly with their state or to register to vote.

After checking the registration, voters are provided with information about eligibility to request an absentee ballot. If the state requires a reason for voting absentee, the voter is presented with this information, in order to determine if they are eligible to continue. If a state provides an online portal with low or no eligibility to use it, all users are directed their form online directly with the state, to minimize drop off. If the state has an online site, but requires ID, the site is offered, and the user is also provided with the option to fill out a paper form. For states with no online site, users are immediately taken straight to fields that will populate the paper form.

In a few cases, users will never be provided with the opportunity to fill out a form. They will always be given information on how to vote and, if applicable, how to apply for an absentee ballot.

  • For states that automatically mail users a ballot, voters are taken directly to a “splash page” letting them know that they will receive a ballot, and information on how to vote and who to contact with questions.
  • Some states have made, or are in the process of making, it a legal risk or impossibility for the voter to use a third party tool. In these cases, voters will receive a “splash page” with information on how to request an absentee ballot as well as information on how to vote and who to contact with questions.

The final page of the user interface gives voters more information on how to proceed with their absentee ballot request. If they have completed a PDF, this information is also presented to them on the cover page of the absentee ballot request form that they print and mail.

The Pledge to Vote tool (Election Reminders Sign-Up)

Rock the Vote’s Pledge to Vote (Election Reminders Sign-Up) tool enables users to pledge to vote – which is a proven tactic to increase the likelihood they will vote. Users enter their contact information and elect whether or not they’d like to subscribe to SMS in addition to email. Partners can elect to include survey questions the form to capture additional data.

Users are enrolled into Rock the Vote’s Election Reminders Program which provides timely, localized election information via email, SMS, or both. These reminders include step-by-step guidance for all steps of the voting journey in clear, easy to understand language. The information is thoroughly fact-checked and comprehensive, covering relevant dates and deadlines for all federal and state elections as well as local elections in large cities.

The Voter Registration Status Lookup tool

Rock the Vote gives voters from all states a one-stop location to check on their voter registration status. Voters enter their information and the tool checks against up-to-date third party information to see if the user is active on the voter rolls with their current address. If a likely match is found, the tool displays the record’s information for the user to review and confirm. If a voter record is not found, or if users need to update their address, users are directed to register to vote using Rock the Vote’s Online Voter Registration Platform.

Supported Languages

The Online Voter Registration tool offers users 14 languages to choose from: Bengali, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, Hindi, Ilocano, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, and Vietnamese. The remainder of our Civic Tech tools are available in English.

Customizing Your Tools

Creating a White Labeled Tool- What and How

The defintion of “White Labeling”

White labeling is the process of customizing or rebranding your Rock the Vote civic tech tools. The following changes are considered White Labeling:

  • Uploading assets (graphics or fonts used in the UI or logos used in PDfs).
  • Adjusting the CSS in the UI.
  • Adjusting the “from” email in the autoresponders.
  • Customizing the autoresponders.

All of these changes can be done via the Partner Portal and require Rock the Vote approval. The other changes that can be made in the Partner Portal will take effect immediately on submission and do not require approval.

Accessing the White Label controls 

Log into your Partner Portal to access all of the customization options.

If you have access to more than one PID, make sure to click the name of the Partner you want to customize.

  1. From the Dashboard, click “Customize.”
  2. On the “Customize” page, you will see options that can be done without White Label approval: upload a logo to display in the upper left corner of your tools, editing the survey questions and changing your “select button.”
  3. Click “White Label.”

Set up your custom branding

From this page, you have access to three sections: Assets, CSS and Email Templates.

Use the “Assets” page to upload the assets you call to on the CSS.

Preview your changes and submit your changes for approval

Any White Label customizations need to be approved by Rock the Vote. You can make as many changes as you want before submitting, and no changes will be live on your site until Rock the Vote approves them. The Rock the Vote team will get back to you with either approval or suggested edits to the CSS within the same week of submission.

  • Click “Preview & Submission.”
  • Before submitting, click “Preview.” A new tab will open with your current CSS attached. You can make any necessary changes before submitting.
  • When you are ready to submit your changes, click “Submit for approval.”

If you have any questions while preparing your White Labeled tool, email civictech@rockthevote.org.

    Modifying the CSS

    The following CSS file can be modified: Sample CSS

    Create a file called partner.css that overwrites the default styles with your own. Reference the fonts and images already uploaded. (ie: body {background-image: url(‘mybackground.jpg’); color: #cc0000;} This file will load after the default styles so anything you define will change.

    Uploading your CSS: Access the Partner Portal. Click Customize -> White Label -> CSS

    Chose your file and click Update.

    Preview and Submission

    To view your white label branding after uploading, click “Preview and Submission.” Click “Preview” to see your OVR tool the way it will look with your CSS applied.

    Click “Submit for approval” to have your white label request sent to Rock the Vote. Staff will review your request within two business days.

    Examples of How Others Are Using the Tool

    Curious as to what others have done with their voter registration tool?

    Here are a few examples of the possibilities:

    Additional Customization FAQs

    Can I change the order of the registration steps?
    No.

    My logo isn’t displaying correctly, what’s going on?
    Your logo will automatically be resized to 75 pixels wide by 45 pixels tall. If you can, resize your logo to those dimensions first for optimum results. You can also use the customization feature and modify the CSS to match whatever size you prefer.

    Narrowing the Funnel with Follow Up Emails

    Turning Registrants into Voters: Auto-Responders

    Getting Voters to the Polls

    Rock the Vote’s Civic Tech tools are designed to turn registrants into voters. Regardless of how far the registrant goes in the process, the first step is entering their email address. Depending on how far they proceed in the online voter registration and absentee ballot request processes, they’ll receive different, customized, and timely emails to remind them to complete their registration or absentee ballot request.

    The emails that voters receive contain different content based on whether or not the state offers online voter registration or only accepts mail forms. Templates for each email type are available in the Partner Platform under Customize -> White Label -> E-Mail Templates. Learn more about customizing your auto-responders.

    At any point, voters can click a link to tell Rock the Vote that they have already mailed in their registration form or completed their absentee ballot request and do not need to receive additional reminders.

    Customizing the Email Auto-Responders

    Rock the Vote’s Civic Tech tools are designed to maximize voter participation. Users who begin the voter registration process via the Online Voter Registration tool will receive a series of automated emails depending on how far in the flow the proceed. These “chaser” emails are designed to ensure that users successfully complete their registrations. The emails go out at intervals beginning shortly after the user engages with the platform.

    The automated emails are designed to be used out of the box: no customization is needed. If you are interested in customizing these emails to include language, a custom subject line, a different send-from email address branding fonts, colors or graphics, you can do this from your Partner Portal. Everything from body copy, sender name and domain, to fonts/colors/graphics can be fully customized by partners.

    There are 5 types of email messages, all of which can be customized within the Partner Portal.

    1. Confirmation sent immediately following a registration completed on a paper form
    2. Reminder sent a few days later to users who completed a paper application
    3. Final reminder (for those that do not click or access their pdf application)
    4. Confirmation sent to users who continue to an online voter registration portal with a state
    5. Chase message sent to users who begin, but do not complete, the voter registration process

    Download the text files. (zip). The text is also available in an in-line editor in the Partner Portal.

    Customizing your emails:

    Updates to the automatic emails can be submitted through your Rock the Vote portal. To submit updates for review, go to Customize >> White Label >> Email Templates. Make all changes in the “Edit” box. Click “Update” to preview your changes.

    Customizing your email copy:

    Edit your email copy directly on the Partner Portal, or use the default text above to edit in an external document and then paste into the editor. You can update the copy of your OVR tool’s automated emails to match your tone and branding.

    IMPORTANT: Please keep HTML tags such as (<%= @registrant.first_name %> and <%= @registrar_phone %>) intact so dynamic content such as state phone numbers and other information can be pulled in appropriately. Also, note that your partner ID should replace the ID used in the sample.

    We also recommend keeping the messaging about and emphasis on completing registrations intact.

    Changing the email sender: You can change the email sender from Rock the Vote to your organization so that messages to your registrants come directly from you. On the Email Templates page, enter the desired email address. Click “Update.” You will receive a verification email from Amazon Web Services. You must verify the email within 24 hours. Submit your update in this format: Rock the Partner Vote <info@partnervote.org>

    Customizing the look and feel of your emails: Use the inline styling to make changes to the display of the emails.

    Submit your changes: All changes to chaser emails must be approved by Rock the Vote. Once you are satisfied with the changes to your emails, submit them for approval. Click “Preview & Submission” at the top of the page. Submit the changes for approval and Rock the Vote will review the changes and be in touch within 48 hours.

    Building Your Base: Email and SMS Opt-Ins

    Customizing and Leveraging Opt-Ins 

    Continue engaging with registrants and voters using the Rock the Vote Civic Engagement tools by collecting email and SMS opt-ins. The final screen of each tool, just prior to submission, presents users with the option to opt into email and SMS.

    By default, the box for emails for Rock the Vote will be checked: This ensures that users will receive Rock the Vote’s timely and accurate Election Reminders, to help ensure voters make it to the polls. Users can always uncheck this box if they do not want to receive the emails. If you’d like to add the option for users to opt into volunteering with your organization, you can add this option on the Partner Portal. Log into the Partner Portal >> Customize >> Edit Survey Questions. At the bottom of the Survey Questions, toggle on the option to ask for volunteers and save your changes. No approval is necessary for this change.

    If you are interested in adding users to your email or SMS lists, contact Partners the Civic Tech team at civictech@rockthevote.org. For SMS opt-ins, you will need to provide a 5-digit short code as well as links to terms and conditions and privacy pages.

    Opt-in data can be downloaded via the Partner Portal. Please visit “Understanding Fields Shared Across CSV Reports” to learn more about accessing this data. 

    Understand the Impact of Your Voter Registration Efforts

    Understanding Your CSV Report for Voter Registration Data

    The Partner Platform gives you access to all raw data collected via all of your tools. Click “REPORTS” to generate a report.

    Select the dates you would like included in the report, and click “Generate New Report.” The Online Voter Registration tool offers both a standard and extended report option.

    Reports will have some tool-specific fields, and each report will include fields for UID, name, date of birth, phone, email, address, SMS opt-in and email opt-in. Although the field names may differ slightly per tool, they will be clearly labeled.

    The following fields only appear in the Online Voter Registration tool. For fields that appear in multiple reports, see “Understanding Fields Shared Across CSV Reports.” For fields in the CSVs for individual tools see “Understanding Your CSV Reports for Additional Tools.”

    * Indicates fields only available in the extended reports. 

    Applicable to all states

    Status: This field indicates how far a registrant went on your OVR toolNote: This field does not apply in states with Connected Voter Registration when active (MI, PA, VA and WA).

    1. Rejected: a person was either not old enough to (pre-)register or did not check the box affirming they were a US citizen, and stopped the process
    2. Step 1: a person entered email/ZIP code on the first page, then stopped. If Viewed Steps on the extended report is blank, this user is likely a bot.
    3. Step 2: user got to the second page to start filling out their personal info, but did not finish
    4. Step 3/4: a person finished entering their registration information, but either (1) did not click to open/print their paper registration form, or (2) were eligible to finish on their state website, but did not click through
    5. Under 18: a person was not old enough to (pre-)register in their state, but requested an automated 18th birthday reminder to register
    6. Complete: a user finished the process, by either downloading their paper form, or clicking through to finish the process online with their state

    US citizen?: Indicates whether the registrant checked the box affirming US citizenship. Please note, this field does not indicate citizenship status, and will display “NO” if the registrant does not get to that box on the form (for example, if they only got to Step 1 or 2)

    Salutation: Indicates what the registrant entered in the “Title” field which is required in many states.

    Has mailing address?: This indicates if a registrant said their mailing address was different than their registration address.

    Mailing address, Mailing unit, Mailing city, Mailing County, Mailing state, Mailing zip code: These fields are only populated if a registrant has a different mailing address than registration address.

    Party: Indicates the political party a registrant selects, if one is selected. This is only requested when completed a federal form, not if the registrant is passed to a state OVR website.

    Race: Indicates the race a registrant selects, if one is selected. This is only requested when completing a federal form, not if the registrant is passed to a state website.

    Volunteer for RTV: This field shows if the registrant opted in to volunteer with RTV.

    Volunteer for partner: If you added a volunteer checkbox for your organization, this field indicates registrant opt ins. The default is to hide this opt-in, but it can be turned on in the Partner Portal, under “Customization.”

    Ineligible reason: If a registrant was ineligible to register, this field will contain the reason. For example, if the registrant is ineligible due to age.

    Pre-Registered: If a user is not old enough to be fully registered (which will be noted under “Ineligible reason”), but is eligible for pre-registration in their state, this field will indicate whether they completed the pre-registration process. By default, “no” will be entered, unless the user specifically completed pre-registration (not regular registration).

    Started registration: The date and time the registrant began registering to vote on your tool.

    Finish with State: This field indicates if the registrant was passed through to the state’s OVR system to complete their registration.

    Built via API: This field indicates that the user’s registration was created as the result of an API call, rather than a session on Rock the Vote’s default web-based user interface. This includes registrations created via the PA field app & via the any tools generated via the Rock the Vote API.

    Has State License*: Indicates whether a registrant included a state-issued ID number. For states without Connected VR, the field will indicate “Yes” if anything was entered in the ID field. For states with Connected VR, this will accurately reflect whether a user provided a state DL.

    Has SSN*: Indicates whether a registrant included the last 4 digits of their SSN. For states without Connected VR, there is no unique SSN field, so all registrants will appear as “No.” For states with Connected VR, this will accurately reflect whether a user provided a SSN.

    Change of Name*: This indicates whether the registrant says they had changed their name since they last registered to vote.

    Prev Name Title*, Prev First Name*, Prev Middle Name*, Prev Last Name*, Prev Name Suffix*: These fields provide the previous name of the registrant as it was inputted into the OVR tool.

    Registration Source* Indicates how the user accessed the tool: web or API.

    Registration Medium* Indicates how the registration was completed: paper, Connected VR (“Submitted Via State API”),  or completed online (“Redirected to SOS”).

    Over 18 Affirmed* Indicates whether the user checked the box indicating they were over 18.

    The following fields are only applicable to applications submitted via Connected VR (all states):

    State API Submission Result: Appears for field app users and states with Connected OVR only. Where applicable, the data in this field is assigned by the respective state election office.

    VR Application Submission Errors*: This field indicates what, if any, errors occurred with a user’s voter registration application.

    Submitted Via State API*: This field indicates if the registration has or has not been submitted via the State API.

    Submitted Signature to State API*: This field indicates if the registration has or has not been submitted via the State API.

    State Flow Status* Indicates how far through the Connected VR process the user made it.

    State API Transaction ID* Transaction ID generated by the state.

    Requested Assistance* Indicates that the registrant selected the option to have their registration printed and mailed to them. Please contact Rock the Vote if you are interested in this feature.

    The following fields are only applicable to applications submitted via Connected VR in Pennsylvania:

    VR Application Status*: This field indicates the status of a user’s voter registration application after review by the Pennsylvania DoS. The status is updated weekly.

    VR Application Status Details*: This field indicates the details/reason for a user’s voter registration application status with the status. This is updated weekly.

    VR Application Status Imported DateTime*: This field indicates the date applications were imported to Rock the Vote’s system.

    VR Application Submission Modifications*: This field indicates what, if any, modifications were required to submit a user’s voter registration application.

    The following fields are only applicable to VR applications submitted through the PA App:

    Preferred Language*

    Shift ID*

    Blocks Shift ID*

    Open Tracking ID*: Field app users only. This will show the canvass event name.

    Understanding Fields Shared Across CSV Reports

    The Partner Platform gives you access to all raw data collected via all of your tools. Click “REPORTS” to generate a report, and select the tool you would like to report out on.

    Select the dates you would like included in the report, and click “Generate New Report.”

    Reports will have some tool-specific fields, and each report will include fields for UID, name, date of birth, phone, email, address, SMS opt-in and email opt-in. Although the field names may differ slightly per tool, they will be clearly labeled.

    The following fields are shared across CSVs. Please note that although their labels may differ per report, the definitions will remain the same. For information about CSVs for Online Voter Registration (OVR) see “Understanding Your CSV Reports Voter Registration Data.” For information about CSVs for other tools, see “Understanding Fields for Other Tools (non-OVR).”

    Below is a list of fields included in CSVs for multiple tools. 

    Tracking Source: Any source codes you add to your tool’s URL via the parameter &source= will be located here. For field app registrants, this will be the canvasser name.

    Tracking ID: Any source codes you add to your tool’s URL via the parameter &tracking= will be located here. For field app registrants, this will be the canvass zip code.

    Language: The language the registrant selected (currently only applicable to OVR).

    Date of birth: The registrant’s date of birth.

    Email address: The registrant’s email address.

    First name, Middle name, Last name, Name suffix: These fields provide the name of the registrant as it was inputted into the tool.

    Home address, Home unit, Home city, Home County, Home state, Home zip code: These fields provide the home address a voter provided.

    Phone, Phone type: These fields contain a registrant’s phone number, if it was provided, and what type of phone it is (i.e. mobile, landline).

    Opt-in to RTV email, Opt-in to RTV sms: This will show if a registrant opted into Rock the Vote’s list email or SMS list.

    Opt-in to Partner email, Opt-in to Partner sms?: This will show if a registrant opted into your email list or SMS list.

    Survey question 1, Survey answer 1, Survey question 2, Survey answer 2: If you choose to customize your tool with survey questions, the questions and the registrant’s corresponding answers will be in these fields. (Currently OVR and Pledge to Vote only.)

    utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign, utm_term, utm_content: utm_  source codes that you add to your tool’s URL or embed. (Note: Only visible in the extended OVR report.)

    Other_parameters: Indicates parameters added to your base URL or embed not listed above. (Note: Only visible in the extended OVR report.)

    Viewed Steps: If this column is blank, it is likely that the row belongs to a bot and can be disregarded. (Note: Available in the extended OVR report and the Absentee Ballot tool report.)

     

    Understanding Fields for Other Tools (non-OVR)

    The Partner Platform gives you access to all raw data collected via all of your tools. Click “REPORTS” to generate a report, and select the tool you would like to report out on.

    Select the dates you would like included in the report, and click “Generate New Report.”

    Each report will include fields for UID, name, date of birth, phone, email, address, SMS opt-in and email opt-in. Although the field names may differ slightly per tool, they will be clearly labeled. Other fields can be found in the FAQ “Understanding Fields Shared Across CSV reports.” The following are tool-specific fields for non-OVR tools.

    Absentee Ballot Request tool

    pdf_ready: Indicates that a PDF was generated for the voter.

    finish_with_state: Indicates that the voter finished with the state’s online absentee ballot portal.

    confirm_email_delivery: Indicates that the voter’s application was delivered via email. (Not currently used.)

    voter_lookup_performed: Indicates whether or not the voter’s information was checked against the third party file of registered voters.

    voter_lookup_found_match: If the check was run, this field will indicate whether or not the voter was confirmed as registered through the check against the third party file of registered voters.

     

    Voter Status Lookup tool:

    gender: Only supports male and female due to third party voter file restrictions.

    match_status: Will display “OK” for matches or “No match found.”

    abr_uid: May display in your report, but not currently in use. Do not worry if no data is displayed in this column.

    registrant_uid: When a match is not found, a voter has the option to continue on to register to vote. Their UID will populate here. (This work is still in progress, so do not worry if this field is blank.)

     

    Using Parameters with Embeds

    Using Parameters in your Embeds

    See the FAQ “Ways to Use URL Parameters with a Link” for basic information on what parameters do and how to use them with a link like https://register.rockthevote.com/?partner=xxxxx

    This FAQ covers how to use source parameters in your embed code. The embed code found in your Partner Portal can be modified to include parameters that have the same function: collecting data on the origins of your users (or prepopulating data).

    Adding parameters to your embed code

    The embed code you see in the Partner Portal will look like this:

    <script type=”text/javascript” src=”https://dev.rocky.rockthevote.com/assets/rtv-iframe.js”></script>
    <script type=”text/javascript”>
    RtvIframe.init({
    partner: xxxxx
    })
    </script>

    To add parameters, place a comma after your Partner ID (xxxxx in the above example) and before the bracket ( } ), and add a parameter(s), then the value in quotation marks, followed by a comma. Adding utm_source would look like this (additions bolded):

    <script type=”text/javascript” src=”https://dev.rocky.rockthevote.com/assets/rtv-iframe.js”></script>
    <script type=”text/javascript”>
    RtvIframe.init({
    partner: xxxxx,

    utm_source: “source code you have generated”,

    })
    </script>

    You can add as many parameters as you would like.

    Available parameters

    UTM codes

    UTM codes (utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign, utm_term and utm_content) will work for all tools.

    Additional parameters

    The following parameters are also available, and may vary between tools.

    For locales (language codes), see the FAQ “Ways to Use URL Parameters with a Link.”

    Voter Registration

    source: “string”,
    tracking: “string”,
    state: “string”, // 2-letter state abbreviation (capital letters) e.g. “CA”
    home_zip_code: “string”, // 5-digit zip code
    email_address: “string”,
    first_name: “string”,
    last_name: “string”,
    locale: “string” // 2-letter locale code (lower case) e.g. “es”

    Absentee Ballot Request

    source: “string”,
    tracking: “string”,
    state: “string”, // 2-letter state abbreviation (capital letters) e.g. “CA”
    zip: “string”, // 5-digit zip code
    email: “string”,
    first_name: “string”,
    last_name: “string”

    Voter Status Lookup tool

    source: “string”,
    tracking: “string”,
    state: “string”, // 2-letter state abbreviation (capital letters) e.g. “CA”
    zip: “string”, // 5-digit zip code
    email: “string”,
    first_name: “string”,
    last_name: “string”

     

    Election Alerts (Pledge to Vote) tool

    source: “string”,
    tracking: “string”,
    state: “string”, // 2-letter state abbreviation (capital letters) e.g. “CA”
    email: “string”,
    first: “string”,
    last: “string”

    Advanced Uses

    Email and UI Tracking

    Tracking pixels 

    A tracking pixel, also known as a marketing pixel, is a 1×1 pixel graphic used to track behavior, site conversions, web traffic and other metrics, similar to a cookie. When implemented properly, these tiny bits of code can optimize digital ad campaigns and digital programming.

    Pixels and RTV’s Suite of Tools

    Rock the Vote Civic Tech tools are designed to support tracking pixels, or snippets, such as Google Analytics and Facebook Pixels to track conversions and other metrics. Partners can integrate multiple pixels in two places on our tool: through automatic chase emails and through the UI.

    Why Partners Use Tracking Pixels

    Tracking pixels can be paired with RTV’s Online Voter Registration tool to learn more about users of the tool.

    Pixels allow partners to track email open rates and digital ad impressions. Notably as well, through built-in User Interface Tracking on our Online Voter Registration tool, pixels provided by partners can be placed in two locations (one script on all pages, and a second script only on the conversion/confirmation page) to track page conversions. On our tool, page conversion data can be used as a metric to track if users made it successfully to the registration confirmation page.

    Please reach out to civictech@rockthevote.org if you have any questions on how-to best use tracking pixels in your programming.

    Email Tracking

    The Online Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request tools send users follow up emails in order to maintain user engagement throughout the voting process. In addition to customizing the text of these emails, you can also monitor and track users that open these automatic messages via Google Analytics.

    You can add your own snippet to chaser emails in the Partner Portal. Add the desired code into each email and submit for review. When Rock the Vote approves your customization, your tracking will be live.

    Here is some sample code to get you started:

    <img src=”http://www.google-analytics.com/collect?v=1&tid=YOURTRACKINGCODE&cid=<%= @registrant.uid %>&t=event&ec=email&ea=confirmation_open&el=<%= @registrant.partner_id %>&cs=reminder&cm=email&cn=ovr_email_opens&cm1=1&ul=en-us” />

    User Interface Tracking

    Your suite of Civic Engagement tools can also support tracking pixels in two places in the user interface layer:

    1. Script that goes on all pages
    2. Script that goes on only the conversation/confirmation page

    After you’ve created your snippets, please send the code Rock the Vote at civictech@rockthevote.org for placement in your tool.

     

    API Information

    An application programming interface (API) is available for developers to build a custom solution for voter registration and provide reporting solutions outside of the Partner Portal. Partners who are interested in additional functionality can read the documentation and contact us at civictech@rockthevote.org to gain access.

    Release Notes

    October 26, 2022

    Rock the Vote is committed to providing voters with accurate information and a seamless experience. States with different NVRA requirements have been updated. Additionally, several bugs were squashed in this release:

      • White labeled absentee ballot embeds will now maintain their branding after a user enters invalid data.
      • API users may have noticed timestamps that were in the future. This is no longer possible.
      • Voters can no longer enter birthdates in the future.
      • Voters completing the form in other languages will be able to see the language drop down after clicking “Previous page.”

    October 11, 2022

    Updates to the Absentee Ballot Request tool

    In order to maximize voter participation, a new feature in the Absentee Ballot Request tool will automatically walk users in most states through a real-time registration check. If a registration cannot be found, users are prompted to register to vote prior to proceeding with their absentee ballot request or instructions on how to proceed with their state. If users opt to register to vote instead of requesting a ballot, they are taken directly to the Online Voter Registration tool with the information they’ve already provided pre-populated.

    Voter status information and next steps will be presented to you in your CSV exports. If a voter opts to continue to register, a unique ID number shared across both tools will allow you to align reports.

    General upgrades

    Rock the Vote knows that the voter journey does not end with registering to vote or requesting an absentee ballot. Our civic technology suite is designed to get the voters through that last mile.

    The following tools are now available to be linked to (no embed available):

    September 7, 2022

    General upgrades

    We’re always working to keep our tool as reliable, user friendly and accurate as you have come to expect over the last 30 years. This release includes:

    1. Doing voter registration in PA and not seeing expected results in your reports? Some partners may not have seen the metrics they were hoping for. Pennsylvania registrants were always able to complete their registrations with the state via Connected Voter Registration, and going forward, you’ll have access to all of this data via your exports.
    2. Updated voter registration deadlines for the General Election for states with late primaries.
    3. Updates to validation for 18 year olds using the Absentee Ballot Request tool.
    4. Accessibility updates: language tags, unique IDs where multiple buttons appear on the same page.

    August 23, 2022

    Online Voter Registration

    Connected Voter Registration is live in Washington! As part of Rock the Vote’s ongoing goal of modernizing the voter registration process, Connected Voter Registration has been released in Washington. Registrants with the proper identification submitting voter registrations in WA through RTV’s OVR tool are now submitting their registrations directly to state election officials for review- they do not need to click out to WA’s portal. WA joins PA, VA and MI as the fourth Connected VR state in Rock the Vote’s OVR system.

    Other upgrades:

    1. Updates to voter registration deadlines for states with August primaries.
    2. An update to a URL in a chase email for the absentee ballot request tool.
    3. A backend fix that will allow for more complete party selections in all states.

     

    April 14, 2022

    General Upgrades

    We’re always working to keep our tool as reliable, user friendly and accurate as you have come to expect over the last 30 years. This release includes:

    1. Support for absentee ballot requests in additional states.
    2. Fix for CSVs incorrectly marking registrants as finish with state=true when they completed registrations with state voter registration portal.
    3. Identification of of deprecated report for users of Pennsylvania canvassing application.
    4. Updates to voter registration deadlines to reflect upcoming deadlines.

      February 14, 2022

      Voter Status Lookup tool, Pledge to Vote tool and Absentee Ballot Request tool

      Overview:

      Embed codes for all tools are now live! You can now embed all of the Rock the Vote suite of voter engagement tools in the same way that you can embed your online voter registration tool. Find the embed codes and other useful ways to link to your tools in your Partner Portal.

      With this release all comes additional reporting tools. To access information on the voters interacting with your tools, click “Reports” in the Partner Portal. You have access to reports for each tool. If you’re pulling reports via the API, view https://rock-the-vote.github.io/Voter-Registration-Tool-API-Docs/#reports for the values to use to access these reports.

      You can also use parameters in your embed codes to track your efforts. These are available in the FAQ titled “Using Parameters with Embeds.”

      Finally, if you’ve branded your voter registration tool, this branding will absolutely carry over to the new embeds. Learn more about white labeling your tool in the FAQ labeled “How to create a white label tool.”

      Other upgrades:

      We’re always working to keep our tool as reliable, user friendly and accurate as you have come to expect over the last 30 years. This release also includes:

      1. A bug fix for the completion of the voter registration form in California in Tagalog.
      2. Updates to a few straggling 2021 voter registration deadlines.
      3. An update to the absentee ballot tool to push voters directly to the Election Alerts sign up tool.
      4. Some translation fixes

       

      February 7, 2022

      Absentee Ballot Request tool is relaunched for 2022 with the state of Texas!

      Overview:

      Rock the Vote helps voters through each step of the voting process, including absentee ballot requests. The absentee ballot portal for Texas has been relaunched so that voters can request absentee ballots prior to the February 18, 2022 deadline.

      The tool will take users through the steps to confirm eligibility and allow them to select the election that they’d like to request a ballot for, and they can repeat the process for as many requests as they need (Texas only allows voters to request an absentee ballot for one election per form). In designing the interface, Rock the Vote has been extremely careful to prevent forms from being denied by election officials.

      Please note: The form will be live through February 18th to allow voters to print out and hand-deliver the form to their election officials and then will be disabled through the March 1 primary so that voters do not mistakenly believe they can still get an absentee ballot in time to vote. Rock the Vote will reenable the tool shortly after the election.

      To use the tool and generate reports, use the following link:

      https://register.rockthevote.com/absentee?partner=##### and replace the ##### with your Partner ID.

      Up Next:

      Embed codes for all of our tools (including the Absentee Ballot tool), and additional states for absentee ballot requests!

       

      January 19, 2022

      Pledge to Vote (Election Alerts) and Voter Status Lookup tools

      Overview:

      Rock the Vote offers voters simple and reliable tools for each step of the voting journey. With this release, we’ve made upgrades to the infrastructure behind the Pledge to Vote tool (sends voters accurate and timely election reminders) and the Voter Status Lookup tool (voters can check on their registration status). Currently, these tools are available as links: https://register.rockthevote.com/pledge and https://register.rockthevote.com/lookup.

      Up Next:

      We can’t wait until you can embed all of our tools in the same way you currently use the voter registration tool. Stay tuned for embed codes and reports for the Pledge to Vote, Voter Status Lookup tool and the Absentee Ballot Request tool.

      The Absentee Ballot Request portal will be available to voters in advance of their primaries for all states.

      December 7, 2021

      Online Voter Registration

      Overview:

      Rock the Vote knows that spam is inevitable AND that you value accurate data. Our quarterly security update includes a feature allowing you to remove bots from your reports.

      What’s new:

      • Not all registrations are created alike. All internet sites are subject to bot activity and we have identified a way for you to filter out this activity from your reports. Run an extend report and look for the “Viewed Steps” column. If this column is blank, the registration is likely from a bot: the user did not complete enough actions to be human.
      • Ways to use: Depending on how you utilize your reports, you might choose to delete these rows, filter them out or exclude the emails from your follow ups. Email us at civictech@rockthevote.org with your use cases!

      Up Next:

      • Election Alert Tool upgrades: Rock the Vote provides some of the most trusted and reliable Election Alerts around. You can already embed the widget on your site but soon you’ll be able to use your White Label branding to make the tool match your site and pull reports on who is signing up.