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Vote For You

This the code base behind a CodeIgniter based tool that lets U.S. people easily contact their Congress people. It is just being uploaded and has run successfully on a LAMP shared hosting site and a Windows 10 + Apache, MySQL host. You can see a working copy at the Vote for You Website


1/25/2019 - Added 116th Congress

3/4/2017 - just updated the 115th Congress info with all the birthdays. You will have to load 115th_congress.sql into your database replacing what's there. I also changed the site so it shows congressional birthdays on the home page.

1/3/2017 - just added the 115th Congress. You will have to load 115th_congress.sql into your database if you were using the old data

What You'll Need Before Getting Started

  1. A host with a relatively recent version of PHP and MySQL
  2. Medium level PHP and CodeIgniter skill
  3. A account to access congressional districts (you will need the API Key)
  4. A RECAPCHA account from Google
  5. An SSL certificate or a free CloudFlare membership which gets you one (this is so the browser will allow you to get your geographic location)

Setting Up

Pull down the code. In the application/config/ directory there will be config.php.template, database.php.template, and recaptcha.php.template. You will need to take the .template extension off of them on your end. Please note that these may be modified and added to and then you will have to merge the changes into your existing files.

Create a database and import the SQL files in the root directory.

Note that January 2017 and at least every two years after you will need an updated congress SQL file. You should be able to get an updated SQL file from here but if not there is In 2019 they have the CSV file made for you but if not you will have to pull or download that Python script and run to get the file legislators-current.csv. To do this you'll need Python 3 and some non included Python libraries. If on Linux, use pip3 to get Python libraries. For example I know you'll type pip3 install rtyaml to get the YAML one. After importing the CSV and removing the first record you have to run the commented out birthday fixing file at Experimental/bdays999 NOTE they may have a ready made CSV file for you, also note that the field amount has changed since early 2017 so you will have to change that in the SQL of your table (if you download the SQL file directly from us the changes are baked in)

Configure your database in the application/config/database.php you will also have to put your API key in the config.php. There are API limit, feedback link, and local/remote host settings there too. Lastly you'll have to go to recaptcha.php and add your RECAPCHA keys from Google

API Limit

Please note that the API is limited to 2,500 free lookups per day but because our code is using 2 per lookup to geocode and get congressional district you really only get 1,250 lookups. That company has plans for higher traffic sites where you can pay per lookup but my code allows you to only allow a certain amount of lookups per day if you think you are going for a cost overrun.

A Note on the Design

This code is released under an MIT license but the design is released into the commons under a public domain license. The mechanism that allows one to push a few buttons and contact their congress people seamlessly shall not be under any patent and this code and design will be considered prior art against any of those claims.

Other Notes

This is my first GitHub project. I cannot be held liable for any damages this code may cause.


Look Up Your Congress People!




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