By Shira Schoenberg
The annual books run 500 pages long, filled with tables of election results. Who won the 2002 state representative race in Colrain in 2002? What was the vote count for Republican State Committeeman in Worcester in 1980? Without a book, the information used to be available only through a phone call to the Secretary of State’s office, during business hours.
The website is, well, a website. It provides a searchable database where anyone – while wearing pajamas and drinking coffee – can find the results of any race, candidate or ballot question since 1970 and break the results down by county or city.
The PD43+ website, named after the annual “Public Document 43” reports, is hosted by Secretary of State William Galvin’s office but was created by a 32-year-old civic activist from Somerville.
“Taxpayers already pay for this information,” said Adam Friedman. “If we can get a cost-effective way to bring it online for them to look at it in real time whenever and wherever they damn well please, they should have that capability.”
With the state reeling from technological problems – a $68 million health insurance website that doesn’t work, a $46 million unemployment insurance system with bugs – Friedman has provided a different model for procuring technology. Though Friedman’s site has nowhere near the technological requirements or capabilities of the far more complex insurance websites, he sees himself at the forefront of a new “civic technology” movement. It is a movement driven by….. Read the full article on MassLive.com