The League of Women Voters’ on line voter information tool needed a ground-up rebuild in 2012, including mobile stylesheet. Our solution paired Drupal7 with Amazon Cloudfront to create a scalable framework that harvested voter data from every state and presented it in a package based on the user’s address. This robust platform withstood millions of hits in the days around the general election, allowing the League to continue its 90-year history of getting people to the polls. Learn about the story behind the story at:
- A Tale of Two Sites: The project called for two towers of development. One is a behind-the-scenes data collector that harvests polling place information from state voting officials. State officials post the information in an XLM format that is coordinated by the Voter Information Project. New Media Mill developers designed the data collector around the Amazon EC2 platform. With simultaneous tasks involving multiple developers, the New Media Mll team coordinated swift versioning by leveraging a Git repository.
- Scalable Solution: The state polling place data can change on a dime…and it did in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey. On top of that, these XML files can be massive, running into the Gigabytes. For that reason, New Media Mill developed using Amazon’s “Elastic Beanstalk” so instances that could be scaled up and down, depending on the workload. Without Elastic Beanstalk, the League would have needed far more resources to keep this infrastructure at full scale. As it was, the entire utility could shrink to a few instances between election cycles, saving tens of thousands of dollars.
- Much More: State data was not the only collection ongoing. The utility also harvested data from e-ThePeople, a voter information service that provides candidate information and guides. And, our developers built a nifty administrative utility allowed League of Women Voter chapters around the country to add their own voter information. Each state could get its own log-in for adding data.
- Mobile Too: While all of this was happening behind the scenes, our interface designer was busy crafting an adaptive design that made this site as mobile friendly as possible. We needed a site that voters could check away from home. The interface helped push the utility to more than one million users over the 2012 general election.