VAVE of the Future

The Very Awesome VIP Executable (VAVE) is making the lives of election administrators easier.

VAVE requirements are minimal, and once the infrastructure is setup, VAVE mostly runs on its own, giving election administrators more time right around Election Day. And, instead of creating full XML files, VIP only needs an export of csv flat files of certain fields.

How it Works
VAVE collects the necessary VIP data from a folder and transmits the data to the VAVE server. The VAVE server processes all of this data, performs a series of intensive validations on the data set, returns a report on any data issues found, generates a feed from the data, and then makes the feed available to both Google and Microsoft for use in their maps.

Requirements

  • The data needs to be sent to a server, so an outgoing internet connection is required.

  • VAVE requires Python to be setup to read VIP code.

  • Once system requirements are met, VAVE can be programmed to run by election administrators whenever it is necessary to collect data.

Advantages

  • Multiple accepted input formats – While csv flat files are preferred, VAVE can handle full VIP feeds as inputs, and a few others. In addition, we can append new data (such as candidate and election administration data) to feeds that do not already contain this data.

  • Automated data and feed creation process – Once VAVE is installed and the data has been selected, VAVE can create a feed. This process could be automated even further by writing a nightly script that takes the data and drops it into a folder. All of this is done using minimal system resources.

  • Full data reporting – VAVE provides full details on element counts and issues it finds within the data, such as missing address zip codes or overlapping street segments. VAVE can also provide information down to a county/locality level if requested.

Security

  • All data is passed over HTTPS and access to important details require Oauth information, giving election administrators secure access to all detailed reports on feed details. This ensures security on both ends and that all data can be correctly sourced.

  • VIP does not connect to any systems (databases, etc.) so the data we receive is only the data that election administrators have originally decided to push to us in a pre-determined format.

  • VAVE only checks a specified directory that we are given access to and nothing else.

Matthew Davis, Information Services Manager for the Virginia State Board of Elections, shares his VAVE install experience: “The Virginia State Board of Elections installed VAVE prior to the June 12th Primaries.

We are very excited about being able to populate our feed moving forward using CSV files.

With VAVE, we can map the process to our normal CSV dumping ground and can now move files around less. Additionally, we can now get real time error messages relating to our feed instead of waiting on VIP to consume our newest files and then accessing the gadget to test it.” 

Contact VIP at info@votinginfoproject.org for details on a free VAVE install. And check out our VAVE templates on GitHub to take a peek under the hood.

Michelle Shim