Configuring ArcGIS Solutions to conduct safe elections during the COVID-19 pandemic

08-31-2020 10:54 AM
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Esri Contributor

Election officials across the United States are preparing for an unprecedented general election this November. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has introduced new safety concerns for voters and poll workers, and officials are devising plans that minimize personal contact, reduce crowds, and limit common access to high-touch surfaces.

The ArcGIS Solutions team recently released the post Leveraging ArcGIS Solutions to conduct safe elections during the COVID-19 pandemic on the ArcGIS blog highlighting several ArcGIS Solutions that can be used conduct safe elections during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you can find configuration help related to the Leveraging ArcGIS Solutions to conduct safe elections during the COVID-19 pandemic post that will help you modify election request types and 

Promote Voting Alternatives

The Election Outreach solution can be used to share the wait times reported with the Election Management solution with voters. See the Configuring the Election Outreach solution document for help sharing wait times in the Election Polling places and Voting Centers applications (sections 4 & 5).

Create Health Safety Plans

The pattern highlighted in the Leveraging ArcGIS Solutions to conduct safe elections during the COVID-19 pandemic post is to use the Coronavirus Site Safety solution for election in 2 ways, 1) to create and share polling place or voting center health safety plans and 2) use the Crowd Counter application to track capacity as voters enter and exit. The Coronavirus Site Safety solution includes additional capabilities, however they may not be needed for use in elections. 

The Coronavirus Site Safety solution includes the Coronavirus Site Safety Map Editor which can be used to build a polling place health safety plan. Additional health points, lines, and polygons  may be needed to to create the health safety plans (for example, you may want to add voting machines). To add additional health points, lines, or polygons to be used in the Coronavirus Site Safety Map Editor:

  1. Locate the Coronavirus Site Safety Map Editor web map in your contents and open it.
  2. Click Edit. 
  3. At the bottom of the Edit pane, click Manage.
  4. Select the appropriate layer (for example, Health Points)
  5. Click Add New Type of Feature.
  6. Create a label and attribute type for the feature (for example, Voting Machine) and select a symbol.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 as necessary.
  8. Click Save Save Changes
  9. Save the Coronavirus Site Safety Map Editor web map.

New feature types will be available for use in creating health safety plans using the Coronavirus Site Safety Map Editor application. 

Manage Election Day Activities


The Election Assistant application can be used by poll workers to request assistance (for example, additional ballots or computer support) at their assigned polling place. Like all ArcGIS Solutions, Election Assistant is configurable and extensible so with simple configuration changes we can incorporate COVID-19 categories (such as requests for sanitation supplies or PPE) to ensure poll workers maintain a safe polling place on Election Day.

Follow the steps below to add additional request types to the Election Requests ArcGIS Survey123 form then add the same request types to the Election Manager Workforce project.  

Modifying the Election Requests Survey123 form:

  1. Deploy the Election Management Solution using the ArcGIS Solution App.
  2. Download and install ArcGIS Survey123 Connect.
  3. Start ArcGIS Survey123 Connect and sign in to your ArcGIS organization. \
  4. Click on Election Requests to download the survey.
  5. Click on Election Requests again to open the survey.
  6. On the left pane, click XLSForm to open the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that defines the survey.
  7. In the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, click on the choices tab. This tab comprises all the selectable options for survey questions.
  8. Update the name and label of the ASSIGN_TYPE list with additional request categories such as Sanitation Supplies or COVID-19 Incident. Add additional Election Request types as needed.
    1. Note: Each ASSIGN_TYPE entry has a coded domain value listed in the name column. Increment new request types by 1, ensuring each entry is unique.
  9. Save the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and preview your changes in ArcGIS Survey123 Connect.
  10. In ArcGIS Survey123 Connect, click Publish in the left pane to publish your changes to the Election Requests form.

Add newly defined request types to the Election Manager Workforce Project:

When poll workers create requests using Election Assistant and the Election Requests form, requests are automatically created as assignments in the corresponding Election Manager Workforce project. Using Election Manager, dispatchers can assign requests to field rovers. Occasionally a dispatcher may need to create an assignment directly without a request from a poll worker. To do that, optionally add the newly defined request types defined above into the Election Manager project.

  1. If necessary, sign into your ArcGIS Organization.
  2. At the top of the site, click Content.
  3. Locate your Election Management deployment. On the My Content tab, type Election Management in the search box. Next, locate the Assignments layer deployed with the Election Management solution. Click the Assignments feature layer to view its item details page.
  4. Click the Data tab in the header of the item details page. Select Fields.
  5. In the list of fields, click Assignment Type.
  6. Click Edit on the List of Domains. 
  7. Add the request types created above in the Election Requests form, be sure to match both the label and the code. 
  8. Click Save.
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