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Move the Line

Elections of 2020 saw historically high turnout across the United States, which was undoubtedly the case in Bexar county of Texas. To accommodate and emphasize voter safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Irys partnered with MOVE Texas to create the Move the Line web-based app to help voters find polling locations with shorter lines.

Problem:

With record-setting voter turnout, it was challenging to find an efficient way to vote as long lines were piling up at the polls. And in 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, long lines weren’t merely an inconvenience; they were a potential health risk that may have deterred residents from voting. On top of the situational difficulties remained the ever-growing initiatives to increase voter participation and accessibility for disenfranchised voters. The Bexar County Elections Department keeps track of the number of ballots cast at each location and publishes that information on the website every night after the polls close. However, the department does not track wait times.

Solution:

Move the Line is a web-based app that helps voters find polling locations with shorter lines. The data is crowdsourced and populated on a map that shows all voting locations and their respective wait times. The app can be used on any device with internet access, such as cell phones or laptop computers, without the need for download or installation. Users can click on the “Map” button to look at the wait times around the county or press the button that says, “I’m in line. Start the clock.”

Results:

Early Voting - October 13- October 30

The app was used in 41 locations 219 people used the app 111 people finished the voting cycle 27 People left the line because it was too long

Election Day Voting - November 3, 2020

There are 302 voting locations The app was used in 80 locations 292 people used the app 167 people finished the voting cycle *34 people left the line because it was too long

When creating this application, Irys and Move Texas had a goal of encouraging eligible voters to exercise their right to vote in this year’s election, reduce poll wait time, and help put voters’ health and safety first during the COVID pandemic. Move the Line was a great success for the 2020 election in San Antonio, Texas. Irys and MOVE Texas will continue to encourage civic participation and provide innovative solutions and resources for citizens.

"This year, long lines aren’t merely an inconvenience; they’re a potential health risk that may deter residents from voting. Due to COVID-19 and the fact that Bexar County is the only major county not tracking polling place wait times, MOVE Texas and Irys’ app puts voter health and safety first.

Claire Murchison,

Communications Consultant at Fireside Campaigns

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