Apologies for the extended radio silence. I promise to one day be able to explain in some detail why that occasionally occurs, but for now I have to remain, um, silent on that point. However, I am very happy to share with you that one of the additional reasons for being distracted from this forum has been work that resulted in today’s announcement.
Indeed, the OSDV Foundation’s TrustTheVote Project has earned a substantial grant from the Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund. Such was a favorable consequence of being a near brides-maid in their Knight Foundation News Challenge, which we competed for earlier this Spring. While we did not make the final cut for the major grant program, the Knight Foundation was sufficiently excited about our proposal for open data standards based election night reporting services that they awarded us a Prototype Grant.
You can learn more about our project here. In a sentence, let me state the metes and bounds of this project. We will share a little about what, how, why, and when in subsequent posts.
In a sentence our project is:
Building an open source election night results reporting service tying directly into local and State elections data feeds (for which the TrustTheVote Project has already helped establish the required standards), with a public-facing web app, and a robust API to enable anyone to access reporting data for further analysis and presentation.
So, essentially the Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund is designed to provide a “seed grant” to enable a prototype or “early Alpha” of an app, service, or system that advances the causes of civic media and citizen engagement with news and information. Our Election Night Reporting Service is a perfect fit. And this 6-month project is intended to finish the development and deployment stages for an evaluation/test run on the system. I need to point out that it will definitely be a prototype and will not include some necessary components to put the system into production, but enough framework and scaffolding to conduct a robust “alpha test for which 3 or 4 elections jurisdictions have agreed to participate.
We will announce those jurisdictions soon. The test will utilize an early release of the Results Scoreboard — a web-based app/service to display elections results. The alpha will also deliver an API and data feed service.
In our next post, we will discuss some details about the project in terms of the what, how, and why. But let me say quickly that the name has some legacy meaning, because its not just about election night — its about election reporting any time. So, stay tuned!
I’d like to thank the tremendous support of OSDVF Board and TTV Project Advisers who worked closely with us on the Knight News Challenge application and for the work of the Core team and our CTO John Sebes on hammering out sufficient details originating in our work with Travis County, TX a couple of years ago. Without their contributions — many in the 11th hour and into the pre-dawn hours last March — this would not have been possible.