March 6, 2012
Redlands, CaliforniaCitizens of Harrison County, West Virginia, can easily determine their election districts and poll locations through an interactive map developed using free web templates from Esri. The county, which has just under 70,000 residents, also plans to use Esri templates to offer a real-time election results viewer.
"Harrison County is proving that it's possible for small governments to bring their authoritative data online and engage citizens using a technology that they have learned simply works," says Christopher Thomas, Esri director of government markets. "Applications like these are easily replicated and can help governments communicate with the public on everything from elections to service requests."
Harrison County Clerk Susan Thomas requested an upgrade of the county's outdated paper maps in preparation for the 2012 elections so her office could quickly and accurately confirm the eligibility of candidates for seats on the county commission and school board. "With the new 2010 census data available, there's no better time to update our precinct map," says Thomas.
In response, the county developed an online mapping application that leverages existing geospatial resources in Esri's ArcGIS platform. This public application clearly defines the county's district boundaries while bringing more transparency to the elections process. Besides providing citizens and staff with accurate district and poll information, the app is expected to boost efficiency by decreasing the number of poll location inquiries the county receives during elections and helping ensure that voters are registered in the correct precinct throughout the year. "It's a win for everyone," says Harrison County geographic information system (GIS) coordinator Mike Pizzino Jr. "This makes our work more accurate, which definitely helps the taxpayers."
Harrison County's elections app was built using ArcGIS and free web mapping APIs available on the ArcGIS for Local Government website at esri.com/arcgisforlocalgov. Also available are APIs involving code enforcement, emergency response, land use, and many other areas of local government operations.
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