Expanding Participation with Online Voting in LA Neighborhood Councils

submission by evboyle
Expanding Participation with Online Voting in LA Neighborhood Councils

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Civic Tech USC

Organization(s) website(s):


Organization(s) twitter handle(s):


Organization(s) facebook handle(s):


Please share the direct link for voters to sign up for your newsletter(s):


Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


Based at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Civic Tech USC is an initiative exploring how new technologies can help to reimagine civic life and engage everyday people in improving their communities.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


Data-driven research and recommendations for the 2016 online voting pilot of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils. We will evaluate the impact of the online voting pilot on voter turnout and engagement, and develop recommendations and best practices for maximizing participation in future online elections in LA that become a model for cities around the country.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Connect” metrics? (check all that apply)

Rates of volunteerism

Voting rates by race

Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support

Median travel time to work

Attendance at cultural events

Number of public transit riders

Participation in neighborhood councils

Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)

Government responsiveness to residents’ needs (Dream Metric)

Transit-accessible housing and employment (the share of housing units and percentage of jobs that are located near transit)

Total number of local social media friends and connections (Dream Metric)

Attendance at public/open streets gatherings (Dream Metric)

Residential segregation (Dream Metric)

Access to free wifi (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to connect.


We are planning a study of the planning, implementation, and effectiveness of the online voting option for Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils. Using surveys and interviews with voters and local officials, historical and real-time voter data, and website and user experience analytics, we plan to explore and answer the following questions:

- Turnout and engagement - How does the option to vote online impact voter turnout in the 35 neighborhood councils that have signed on to use the system? What is the impact on turnout among young adults? What other kinds of local civic engagement are affected by the online voting option?

- Design, implementation, and analytics - Map the process of voting to understand voter behavior and barriers to participation. How could the design and implementation of the voting platform, and the avenues through which users find and access it, be improved in future elections?

- Best practices - Which neighborhood councils experienced the biggest boost in turnout because of the online option, and what can we learn from them? What are the best practices for other local, state, and national governments looking to implement online voting?

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


Successful outcomes for this project include:
- Produce research and recommendations that are used by local officials across LA, and that contribute to expanded participation in neighborhood council elections.
- Identify and distribute best practices for expanding voter turnout using easy-to-use online voting platforms that are as secure as possible given current technological limitations.
- Help to test and refine online voting technologies in lower stakes elections like neighborhood councils before they are used in larger elections.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

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Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015