Strange Loop

Next: September 12-14 2019


Stifel Theatre


St. Louis, MO

The Future of Digital Voting Guides

Voter's Edge is a comprehensive, nonpartisan online guide to federal, state, and local elections in California, Illinois, and New York. Voter's Edge gives users access to their full, personalized ballot by entering their address or selecting the county they are in. This allows for users to see candidate biographies, top priorities, photos, policy videos, endorsements, and detailed information about who funds their campaigns. In addition to this, Voter's Edge allows candidates to personalize their message to users allowing for a very unique ballot guide.

We'll walk through the technical hurdles of transforming this application from Drupal 6 to a modern micro service architecture. In addition to this, we'll talk about the challenges of building accessible election guides that may one day replace our paper guides.

Leon Smith


Leon Smith is the Technical Director for MapLight which is a non profit that uses technology to illuminate moneys influence in politics. He made the switch from corporate to non profit after working for CBS and ITT/JPL NASA. When he has time, he enjoys teaching computer science courses at California State University, Fullerton. His hobbies include skiing and reading about Stoicism literature.  Leon received a B.S. in Social Science from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and an M.S. in Computer Science from California State University, Fullerton. He is currently pursing his MBA at UCLA.