Had a nice meeting to discuss this further with @kward and @flafeer this afternoon. Here are the brief notes.
*Full voter registration verification vs. just constituency verification
We came to the conclusion that voter reg is a preferable system, but the system also needs to provide constituency verification. This should be easy since address verification is all that’s required for constituency verification and that is also a key component for voter reg.
The rationale behind this is that voter reg takes into account a lot of things that are difficult to verify otherwise, like age, eligibility to vote, citizenship, etc… and elected officials are primarily interested in people who can vote. The lesser level of constituent proof is also important however as they don’t want to block legitimate constituents that have recently moved to the area, are just about to register to vote, etc…
*Functional Business Model
@kward pointed out that Fireside 21 currently uses a similar system for verifying postal addresses of incoming constituent messages. This system verifies that it’s a real address and formats it in proper post office format, along with providing some additional info such as county, precincts, etc…
– this system has a subscription based model which is pay-per-use for small volume, but just an annual fee after a certain level
@kward will provide examples of the companies that do this so that we can look at their models and perhaps include them in these discussions in the future.
Additional services that a vendor could provide to CMS vendors that serve elected officals:
– other contact data: so that duplicate entries in the constituent database could be discovered and merged. This could include social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook, phone or fax numbers they may have called from previously, previous addresses, etc…
– demographic data: while this information is available from a multitude of sources, the vendor could also be a clearing house for it, providing it already matched up with the voter list
State voter reg files are a mess. Each state does it differently, some will be housed at Sec of State’s office, others must be retrieved individually from each county.
– Perhaps there is an opportunity here in standardizing the voter reg files and making them available.
– companies like Aristotle and Catalyst already do this, but use the data for other purposes, eg political campaigns – we should approach them about what we’re doing and see how to get them involved