Our vision is of a country with the digital foundations to support everyone’s participation in democratic life.
Our mission is to create those foundations by:
- Identifying areas for improvement in democratic engagement;
- Ensuring everyone has access to quality information on democratic processes, particularly on elections;
- Mobilising a non-partisan movement of volunteers for democracy.
Started in 2010 and a Community Interest Company since 2015, we are a small, core team of full-time software developers, data specialists, geospatial engineers and election experts. Working with our community of online volunteers, we deliver free, simple and practical services.
We want as many people as possible to benefit from our work:
- On election days, we collaborate with Facebook, Twitter and Google. Each year we process millions of postcode searches, helping people find out when and where to vote.
- We provide APIs, embeddable widgets and research data to a range of partners across the political spectrum who share our values, from charities and think tanks to news sites and the House of Commons Library.
- We also build and maintain services people can use directly, like WhoCanIVoteFor and WhereDoIVote.
- We work with different parts of the UK government, like the Electoral Commission, to help them provide election information.
Our impact is both direct and indirect. Directly, we have helped millions of people access election and local government information online. Indirectly, we have extensive anecdotal evidence that more people take part in public life as a result of Democracy Club's efforts. Our work has been covered by most national news outlets, as well as in local media across the four nations of the UK.
Building and maintaining Democracy Club's services is a long-term commitment - elections happen throughout the year which means we’ve got to keep our technology active and up to date at all times.
We also host an online community of more than 800 members and a mailing list with 15K subscribers. Our volunteers are non-partisan, either interested in democracy, open source technology, or both. Around elections, we're supported by a core team of 20 super-volunteers and a community of 300+ supporters to crowdsource publicly available information like candidate manifestos.
How we work
Our core team works with local councils, organisations and individuals to collect information about elections and local government relating to over 400 organisations across the UK.
Although much of this data is already published and available to the public, it is rarely accessable, is often hard for computers to read and use, and is never brought together in a single place.
Having compiled this data, the core team makes sure all the information is accurate. Laws and regulations around public life and elections are highly complex. Getting things wrong undermines people's trust and risks breaking the law.
We're obsessive about getting it right.
Finally, our software developers standardise and repackage it, making the information accessible for computers, charities and individuals alike.
What people say about us
Our data has reached millions of people since 2015. Here’s what some of them say:
“Amazing accessible website that encourages people to vote by its sheer simplicity.”
“This was a very quick and precise answer to my question. Well Done!”
“Exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate the work of democracyclub and its supporters in providing this resource.”
People who work in democracy trust us
“We've been impressed by Democracy Club's attention to detail and ability to make things work. We have complete trust in the data they provide and are highly supportive of their efforts to help voters get more information about elections.”
— Stuart Harrison, Senior Communication Officer, The Electoral Commission
“This is great – you offer a fantastic service, it is a real help to us and our electors. We really appreciate it.”
— Seth Alker, Head of Electoral Services, London Borough of Croydon
“Democracy Club provide reliable, vital and timely election-related data that is a great boon for democracy in the UK.”
— Patrick Dunleavy, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, London School of Economics
“I was pleased to hear that Democracy Club, working with the Electoral Commission, will be strengthening their work to provide direct polling station and candidate information to the public online, where we know they expect to find it. Over time, I believe that making this information available centrally will become an invaluable service for citizens.”
“a heroic crowd-sourcing effort.”