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Open Elections Project

We're back baby.

This is the main repo for the Open Elections project.

Check out our wiki for information.

Getting Started

To get this repo running locally you need to have a few dependencies installed.

Local Development

The frontend depends on the backend & database to be up and running in order to be worked on locally. If you want to have hot module reloading, during development you could use Docker with volumes, but starting the Docker services you need and running the node server separately, is likely simpler. Also checkout the app and api Readmes for more info. In general the following command will get all dependencies running with volumes in the foreground:

    docker-compose up # add '-d' if you don't want run Docker in detached mode in the background

If you don't want to see local console logs from all running containers, you can add the -d flag to run in detached mode. See the (Docker documentation)[] for more info.

You can use the following commands to get up and running for frontend development locally:

    # start the api and db
    docker-compose -f docker-compose-test.yml up api
    # then start the frontend serve
    cd app
    yarn start


If you're starting from scratch, you'll need to create a .env file

    touch .env

You'll need a GOOGLE_GIS_KEY in order for addresses to be properly geocoded for the public data visualizations.

Pull all the Docker images by running:

    docker-compose pull

Build the Docker images by running:

    docker-compose build

Start application by running:

    docker-compose up

Seeding the Database

We have a set of seed files located in models/seeds, to run them:

    docker-compose -f docker-compose-test.yml up
    docker-compose run --rm api npm run seed


Use the following steps to run through the jest/mocha tests. You can see the what Travis, the CI/CD tool we are using, runs when a PR is opened against the develop branch in ./scripts/

Heads up: Make sure after each test you clear the Docker containers (docker-compose [-f docker-file-name.yaml] down) or you will probably get Error: Request failed with status code 403.

1. Install the app:

In the root directory run the following. Note: -f docker-compose-test.yml specifies the test Docker.

    docker-compose -f docker-compose-test.yml build

In the app directory, you'll have to install the app dependencies (outside of Docker)

    cd app
    yarn install
2. Then you can run the api in Docker:
    docker-compose -f docker-compose-test.yml up api
3. Run the Test Suites

Run the api test suite:

    docker-compose -f docker-compose-test.yml run --rm api npm test

Run the app test suite:

    docker-compose -f docker-compose-test.yml run --rm app yarn test

Run the datascience api test suite:

    docker-compose -f docker-compose-test.yml run --rm data make test


If you encounter a particularly common or interesting issue, when trying to get the local environment working, feel free to add the problem / solution here.

Debugging Docker

If you're not sure how to solve a Docker issue, removing all created Docker containers usually is a good place to start:

    #The following command will return a list of container ids
    docker ps -a # yes docker, not docker-compose
    #Use each container id in the following command
    docker rm <container-id> -f # remove the container id

I also have experienced issues getting docker to build locally to test UI. Most recently I was getting these errors: docker output clipped, log limit 1MiB reached and npm WARN tar ENOSPC: no space left on device, open. I had to do the following:

docker system prune

DOCKER_BUILDKIT=0 docker-compose -f docker-compose-qa.yml up

If you are seeing pm2 errors when trying to spin up a production container, make the the pm2 version in the Dockerfile matches the node version in the Dockerfile.

npm issue

When opening this repo and nvm use the api directory, I was encountering this error when trying to install the dependencies (npm i):

ERROR: npm is known not to run on Node.js v11.4.0
You'll need to upgrade to a newer Node.js version in order to use this
version of npm. You can find the latest version at

It took some debugging, but I was able to finally get a clean install by:

nvm uninstall v11.4.0 # this is the version in .nvmrc
nvm install v11.4.0 --latest-npm


This project uses Travis to Continuously deploy to on commits to develop. When you open a PR, Travis will run our test suite, and mark it as passing or failing on the PR at Github. When the PR is merged into develop, and the test suite is passing, Travis will deploy using scripts/