Project Term: Winter 2018
Open Democracy Manitoba builds non-partisan election websites to help citizens inform their vote. Within their sites are features like an address lookup tool, archived previous election results and automatic news fetching regarding specific candidates, and the general election.
Our students created a custom WordPress plugin to be uploaded onto the WordPress plugin directory. The code is completely free and open source. By hosting it on the WP directory it gives anyone the ability to create an election portal in their own city.
Key features and functionality of the site include information on candidates, parties and the general election. An address lookup tool to help citizens determine who is running to become their representative. Voter info, such as where to vote. Automatic news scraping, to fetch news about each candidate on their page and general election news. One page will be dedicated to archived previous election results.
The core spirit of the project is such that: “in order for democracy to work as intended and empower the people, there need to be other groups like ODM in other cities taking action to inform and educate the electorate, and help to increase voter turnout and engagement.”
While many parts of the site were already built out, ODM was seeking to add some extra functionality and fix some bugs. Here is a list of functionality our students worked on:
- Added Support for Multiple Simultaneous Election Types (Party versus Non-Party Elections)
- Improved Theme to Add Support for Mobile Devices (Screen Size Responsive)
- Added New Configuration Options (Bring File-based Configuration into Admin Panel)
- Prepared the process to post election results on Election Day
- Added an Address lookup tool (with the Winnipeg Address dataset)
- Integration of Creative Arts Student UI/UX Designs
- Integration with Custom News Scraping Tool
- Automated Test Suite
- Package the Plugin for the WordPress.Org App Store
- Deployment Documentation (Server Setup, WordPress Setup, Plugin Installation)
- Research Options and Develop Processes for Archiving Previous Election Sites
Technologies used: WordPress, jQuery, PHP, GitHub, Vagrant, Scotchbox