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Develop for Good: Hackathon

Challenge: Citizen Engagement for Politics & Elections

The Challenge: 
Build something practical that helps citizens learn about or interact with government or voting  -- either for a specific country, or with global application. The result must be practical and work within existing electoral systems (sorry, this isn't the time to create an online voting platform).

You can videochat with your friend across the world, or order a pizza delivery with a smartphone app, but voting and engaging with politics and government still often requires physical presence and advance planning. Google Politics & Elections seeks to improve civic participation by closing the technology gap;  to help citizens make more informed choices and making voting itself easier by removing friction in the voting process.

We encourage you to use these resources but they are by no means required!
Examples of the work the Google Elections & Politics team has done around different global elections:
Do you need to connect with the challenge lead? You can ask a question over Google Chat or Video Chat. Simply add the email to your chat list to invite the lead to join you in a chat. Once they accept, you can communicate over chat or you can ask the lead if he is available to Video Chat (simply click on the camera icon in your chat box to initiate the video call). 

Office Hours are:
Wednesday 5:00AM - 12:00PM PDT
Thursday 5:00AM - 9:00AM PDT, 10:00AM - 1:00PM PDT
Friday: 5:00AM - 12:00PM PDT

Timing & submission: 
  • A representative from the Google Elections & Politics team will be available over hangout (link to come!) and will be answering questions submitted to the moderator page. General questions will also be answered on the FAQ page.
  • Hackers can start thinking about and working on this challenge before I/O but we encourage participants to take part in an Extended hackathon to complete their project.  
  • In order to qualify for judging, please submit your hackathon proposal via  this form by 11:59pm (PST) on June 29, 2012.
  • Submissions will be reviewed by a judging team of Googlers following 06/29/2012 and we hope to announce the most successful projects by 08/01/2012. 
  • Once the judging process has been completed we will feature the most successful hacks on the Google Developers blog, and the most successful team will win tickets to I/O 2013! See further details on prizes below. 
Submitted projects will be judged primarily on the potential to drive impact but also for originality and international scalability. Since government rules and data types vary, it's okay to build for just one country, but we'll give added weight to projects that have the potential to work in multiple countries. Submissions will also be judged on the following:
  • Originality and creative approach: to solving the outlined problem, along with actual demonstrated solution for the problem --  i.e. engage citizens around politics & voting, and making voting more accessible to any given citizen. 
  • Functionality: working functionality of submission as submitted, without further demonstration, and the potential for the submission to be completed through to launch (this will also take into account demonstrated technical capabilities).
  • Usefulness: does the submission allow individuals to access useful and relevant information and / or make voting easier?
  • Scalability: potential for internationalization and / or global scalability.
  • Impact: the potential for the submission to drive immediate real world impact. 
  • Design / User experience: how intuitive is the submission to use?
  • Accessibility: for example, how accessible a website is to a screen reader. See further guidelines at the following resources:
  • Social: Any integration with Google+! 
  • Critical parts of submissions should be in English, as we unfortunately will not have translation capabilities.
The most promising submission in each challenge will be awarded the following:
  • Tickets to I/O 2013!
  • Title of 'Google Developer for Good' for 2012,  which will be featured on the Google Developer and Google Chrome blogs. We will also provide the appropriate material to incorporate the award onto any personal websites / blogs. 
  • Mentor time with the Google Politics & Elections team to work on the project through to completion.  
  • Chromebooks: there will be one additional prize of a Chromebook for the best web app submitted across all the challenges. See further details on the main hackathon page. [Note: there will only be one winner for this prize across all three challenges]
See full set of hackathon rules