Voting in the US is always a web of arcane local, state, and national laws. It becomes exponentially more difficult when you are a student in college away from your home jurisdiction. Where do you register? Where do you vote? Are you a resident at home or at school? What are the rules around voting at home or at school?
Our friends at Forge, a group of entrepreneurs, hackers, and no-code enthusiasts, decided take action. They built a simple guided voter resource for students at the University of Virginia, affectionately known as “Wahoos” or “hoos” for short. Their website is the delightfully punny HoosVoting.com and guides students through the process of understanding when, where, and how they can vote based on their situation.
When it came time to help those students vote, they turned to x.ai for a means of scheduling rides to the polls from their army of volunteers. We were thrilled to help out and offered them free use of the platform through election day, the least we could do.
💡 Have an idea? If you are interested in building similar solutions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to get involved. Remember, we also have a 30% discount on premium plans for educational institutions and non-profit organizations.
The solution we came up with together works like this. First, using a series of questions, the Hoos Voting website identifies the student’s particular situation and offers solutions. If they are registered to vote in their home state, they are provided resources for absentee ballots. If they are not currently registered to vote, they are provided resources to do so. Should they be registered to vote in the Charlottesville area, they are then asked if they have a car. That’s where x.ai comes in!
With Forge’s team, we set up a Round Robin Calendar Page for rides to the polls. If a student answers that they have a car, they are asked if they would like to volunteer to offer rides to their fellow students without a car. Should they say yes, they are added to the Round Robin scheduling page as a Team Member on the x.ai account and they set their preferred scheduling hours in their calendar, blocking out times they are unavailable. They are then added to the pool of Team Members attached to the calendar page using the x.ai custom locations feature to designate the pick up point.
When a student indicates that they do not have access to a car, they are taken to a page on HoosVoting.com where the team at Forge has embedded the very same Round Robin Calendar Page. The page utilizes our flexible Calendar Page website embedding feature, allowing students to book a ride to the polls with a fellow hoo without leaving the website.
The Round Robin Calendar Page schedules a ride with any available hoo with wheels at random. Using this two-sided approach, Forge is able to not only mobilize volunteer drivers, but enables them to literally mobilize voters! Win/win!
The team at x.ai was incredibly generous with their product, their time, and their expertise. It helped that their Calendar Pages were able to do exactly what we needed!– Daniel Willson, Forge
And, of course, we’d be remiss not to encourage all five of our loyal readers to vote in the upcoming elections. You can even use x.ai to remind yourself to vote!