Readers may notice a recent addition to our site. In the sidebar is a new, open-source widget - Voter Story - designed to combat irregularities at the polls during tomorrow's elections.
It's pretty simple. If you encounter any irregularities at your polling place, or have trouble voting, simply fill out the form and submit your personal voter story. Your submission will be forwarded to a non partisan voter protection agency. You will receive an email confirmation stating that your story has been submitted and that you may receive a follow up call regarding your submission.
The tool can be placed on any website (technical details below), and will compile all submissions into a centralized database to document voting problems and to make sure that good government and election protection organizations are fully aware of all irregularities that occur in their area.
If you're concerned about the integrity of the voting process, please spread the word about this tool and consider adding it to your website (if you've got one).
How to install Voter Story on your website:
The sign-up and installation process can be pretty simple. Go to Voter Story, sign up for an account, and click "Download Free Widget." This will present you with some code to cut and paste into your site. Pick the platform that you are using and copy the code, open your site, paste, republish, done.
You probably noticed that the Voter Story widget looks a little janky on our site. It seems like Voter Story was built for Drupal and not so much for other website platforms. I had a few problems installing it on my site, so if you are using Typepad, here's what I did to get it to work:
- Went in to Typepad and created an "Advanced Design" of my template. (Designs>Manage Designs)
- Went to VoterStory.org and copied BOTH code snippets for Typepad in sequence (top to bottom).
- Opened up the "sidebar.inc" file in my typepad advanced templates.
- Pasted both sections of code beneath the <!-- sidebar --> tag.
- Saved Template
- Published Template
Don't bother trying to alter the width or height of the widget to make it fit/look better. My attempts to do so resulted in a worse design issue than what you currently see in our sidebar.
This is a fantastic effort on the part of Evolve Strategies, The Carnegie Corporation the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Institute. A word of advice for next year, though. It would be much better if the tool was slightly more customizable, if users were allowed to track how many times their readers submitted stories, and if the group kept a running list of websites who were utilizing the widget.