USC Price Center for Inclusive Democracy’s Voting Location Tool Expanded to Help Communities Increase Voter Participation and Accessibility
Los Angeles, April 18, 2022 – As the 2022 midterm primary elections get underway across the U.S., the Center for Inclusive Democracy (CID) at the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy School has expanded its Voting Location Siting Tool to 14 states. The tool, which currently covers 51% of the U.S. population, is designed to help election officials and communities identify accessible and equitably distributed U.S. voting locations to boost voter access and participation.
“As more jurisdictions seek to put up barriers to the ballot box, our Voting Location Siting Tool does exactly the opposite,” said Mindy Romero, director of CID and assistant professor at the USC Price School. “The tool is about helping election officials and communities increase voting participation and engagement, including among people of color and other harder-to-reach underserved populations who historically vote less often.”
The Voting Location Siting Tool uses a web-based interactive data mapping system to identify areas within a half mile in diameter where vote centers and polling places would likely have the most success in serving voters. Areas are identified through a facility allocation model that incorporates the most up-to-date local demographic and historical voting data, which can then be customized based on specific local needs.
Launched in California in 2018, the tool is now available in 14 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Over the coming months, CID will be conducting trainings for election officials and community advocacy groups on how to use the tool to identify accessible and equitably distributed polling locations in their communities. A fact sheet on the tool can be accessed here.
“By using data-driven technology, we are helping take the guesswork out of where polling and voting locations should be,” said Romero. “Our goal is to help assure that every citizen has an equal opportunity to participate in the 2022 midterm elections.”
About the Center for Inclusive Democracy (CID)
The Center for Inclusive Democracy (CID), formerly known as the California Civic Engagement Project, is part of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and is based in Sacramento. CID conducts a range of national and multi-state research initiatives exploring voting behavior, civic engagement, electoral and economic research, the intersection of social justice and democracy, and more. Its research informs and empowers a wide range of policy and organizing efforts aimed at eliminating disparities in social and economic well-being. Now a cornerstone project nested within CID’s larger umbrella, the California Civic Engagement Project continues to produce groundbreaking resources and research for California.
About the USC Price School of Public Policy
Based at the University of Southern California, the Sol Price School of Public Policy provides education and research that promotes innovative solutions to the most critical issues facing society. For more than 90 years, USC Price has earned the public’s trust by creating path-breaking research and scholarship.
Assistant Professor (Research)