Swap My Vote
Swap My Vote is a platform which allows voters to find a partner to swap their vote with. Rather than voting for their preferred minority party in a constituency where a tactical vote is necessary or worthwhile, a voter can find someone who will vote for their preferred party somewhere where that vote makes sense, even under the First Past The Post voting system. In return, they will vote for their partners preferred party as a tactical vote in their own constituency.
Swap My Vote ran a successful project in both the 2015 and 2017 UK general elections at www.swapmyvote.uk, and is preparing to do the same for the 2019 general election too.
In the interests of transparency, all of the code that we have written and used is available in this repository. We are in the process of working out how to make this project sustainable, but providing an open and welcoming community for continued developed will be important. So please have a look at the Contributing and Contact sections below if you'd like to help.
Setting up Swap My Vote locally
You will need Ruby and Yarn installed.
Clone this repository:
git clone https://github.com/swapmyvote/swapmyvote.git
Install the necessary gems:
If this fails with error messages that mention
pgor PostgreSQL, then try instead:
bundle install --without=production
since the PostgreSQL database is not normally needed for local development (sqlite is used instead).
Install npm packages with Yarn:
If you get an error similar to "The engine "node" is incompatible with this module" then you may need to update to a more recent version of node.js.
Set up some credentials and other config variables in a
.env.development.localfile. You can ask @aspiers for a copy of this file, or if you are using your own Facebook and Twitter apps for login then you can make it yourself by starting from a template:
$ cp .env.example .env.development.local
.env.development.localto contain the appropriate credentials. These will get automatically loaded via the
Set up the database schema and populate it with constituency and poll data, as well as some test users accounts for local development.
bundle exec rake db:setup
Run the application:
# Ensure binding to localhost even if $HOST is set, so that # the URL is accepted by the facebook development app bundle exec rails server -b localhost
Open your browser to http://localhost:3000.
Run Guard during development to automatically run tests and do style linting:
bundle exec guard
Note that in the development environment, emails are not sent but instead written
as files in the
Contributing to Swap my Vote
Any help would be well appreciated!
Firstly, you should log in to Travis CI to make sure that their system is aware of your GitHub user account, since for some strange reason they sometimes assume unknown users are malign and ignore any pull requests submitted by them!
Secondly, before we can accept contributions from you, please make sure you read the License section below and follow the required step.
Deciding what to work on
Please take a look at the GitHub
project. Issues are
sorted into milestones, and the items in each column are roughly
sorted by priority descending, so a good place to start would be near
the top of the
M0 column. If you can, please avoid tackling stuff
in future milestones until the current milestone is complete.
Coordinating with the team
If an issue is already assigned, then probably someone is already
working on it or at least intending to. If it's unassigned then
probably it's up for grabs. However it's safer to ask in the issue
and/or in the Slack
#general chat channel before starting on
anything, to avoid accidentally duplicating effort. Please email us
at the below address to request an invite to our Slack chat server.
Our roadmap can be seen in our list of milestones.
Submitting issues and pull requests
When submitting new issues or PRs, please remember to apply any relevant labels. Thanks!
You can contact us at email@example.com.
In order to help ensure that potential voter partners aren't split across different otherwise identical vote swapping platforms in the same country, we have decided to license the code for the time being as follows:
All Rights Reserved © Forward Democracy Limited.
Issue #33 includes previous discussion which may clarify the motivation for this decision.
Contributions to the code will be very gratefully received! Please
first use this
to submit a pull request which adds your GitHub username to the
.clabot file. It will auto-populate the commit message with a
statement that you agree to assign rights for your contributions to
Once we merge this pull request, your GitHub username will be added to our list of approved contributors, and any other pull requests from you can then be accepted. This puts us in a future-proof position regarding copyright, e.g. it keeps the possibility to making some or all of the codebase Open Source in the future.