Maps for a political race?
January 27, 2012 11:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm helping someone with their local political campaign and I've been given a voter list with about 2500 records - I'm estimating that it probably has around 1500 unique addresses. I've been asked to map them and produce street by street maps, identifying the address and which side of the street it's on to make it easier to go door to door. Some questions:

What are these maps called? They must have a name and I'm not sure what to Google.

How can I produce these maps? I've looked at BatchGeo and MapBuilder but I'm not sure they can provide those street level maps I'm looking for. Can Microsoft MapPoint do this? Can I send all the addresses to the Google Maps API? Is there another option I'm not aware of?

If we have to hire someone to generate these maps for us, who do we go to? What kind of firm can do this for us?

This for a non-partisan election so there are no political parties involved, that's why we can't use their expertise.
posted by exhilaration to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We call the list a "walk list" and the map is just the "precinct map for the walk list" with dots for each address. Googling "walk list" or "walk list map" pulls up several companies that produce them.

So, no kidding, there's an app for that. Here's one for Android (haven't used, can't vouch, but I see m). "Votebuilder" is the big one from the DNC, has an iOS app, but you have to have a votebuilder account to use it. (That's what my campaigning friends use but they're democrats.)

In my non-partisan election, I was able to get walk lists from the county democrats. I could have also acquired them from the county republicans, and other candidates did. The parties were pretty willing to provide them for low-level (2500 voters sounds pretty low-level) non-partisan elections -- it doesn't really impact races higher up the ballot, it helps get out the vote, and it helps develop the "farm team" for future partisan races. So if it's not actually forbidden, it won't hurt to ask.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:17 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Your best bet for the data under the circumstances is probably your local municipality or county. They may have this type of data from either the decennial census or from voter registration.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 12:38 PM on January 27, 2012

Emperor, I have the data from the county board of elections - but it's a voter list in the form of a CSV file, not maps.
posted by exhilaration at 1:29 PM on January 27, 2012

Is this in Bergen County?
posted by djb at 2:58 PM on January 27, 2012

djb, yes, it's in bergen county - any advice?
posted by exhilaration at 9:50 AM on January 30, 2012

Can you post an example row from the CSV (with an anonymized name)?
posted by djb at 5:17 PM on January 30, 2012

There's always the old-fashioned way, which is what I would do in this case.

It shouldn't take very long at all to sort the list by street names and numbers (odd/even will give you the sides of the street), then just print out or photocopy some maps, highlight routes and attach the corresponding lists by street.

If this is for lit drops, you're done.

If it's for canvassing, you need a good system to capture and record the response data you want - both at doors and then later as its entered into your campaign database.
posted by Vectorcon Systems at 12:21 PM on January 31, 2012

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