Connecticut Will Have Its First Statewide, Publicly Accessible Data Source to Assist Voter Registration, Voter Turnout Efforts

Thursday, July 16, 2020

CT Data Collaborative Earns Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Grant to Launch Initiative

HARTFORD, CT -- The Connecticut Data Collaborative (CT Data) is constructing a public data platform designed to provide organizations seeking to increase voter registration and voting in Connecticut with the data necessary to more effectively target their efforts.

Utilizing civic engagement grant funds awarded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, CT Data will provide data, analysis and technical assistance that will encourage the use of data to inform voter registration outreach efforts. The goal is to provide historical data on voter engagement and current demographic data by neighborhood to help organizations target their outreach efforts and increase voter registration and participation.

In the unprecedented initiative, CT Data is utilizing the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 5-year estimates for eligible voters along with voter registration data from the Connecticut Office of Secretary of the State to create a comparison, in each of the state’s 2,580 census block groups, that will reflect the estimated gap between registered voters and those eligible to register. Census block groups contain between 600 and 3,000 people, and are smaller slices of the population than are census tracts. (There are 833 census tracts in Connecticut.) By utilizing the smaller segments of population to analyze voter registration data, efforts to increase registration can be aimed more precisely.

“The new data platform we are developing will be easily accessible on the CT Data website and will support a range of voter registration initiatives by community-based organizations in Connecticut,” said Michelle Riordan-Nold, Executive Director of the Connecticut Data Collaborative. “Our objective is for this data to make their efforts more efficient and more effective.”

In addition to the grant provided to CT Data, the Hartford Foundation recently announced plans to provide Civic Engagement Grants to four organizations in the Hartford region engaged in voter registration initiatives. CT Data will assist those organizations, and others, in using the new database. CT Data’s efforts are to include three central components:

  • create a user-friendly, interactive data tool to assist voter engagement efforts statewide based on feedback from organizations and beta testing with data users;
  • assist in efforts to engage residents by creating data-based stories that organizations can share highlighting how voter engagement affects neighborhoods in the Hartford region; and
  • provide technical assistance to Hartford Foundation grantees in this initiative, assist in interpreting the data, and respond to data questions that arise.

The new data platform is currently being finalized, and is to be launched later this month at

“We remain committed to helping local nonprofit organizations reach and encourage people to register to vote, learn about the issues that affect them and cast their ballot on Election Day,” said Hartford Foundation Senior Community Investments Officer Yvette Bello. “Along with supporting voter participation, our network of grantees is encouraging residents to complete their Census questionnaire. Combined, these efforts ensure that communities are counted and that residents take an active role in determining how public resources are used.”

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $795 million since its founding in 1925. The $30,850 grant to CT Data was one of five Hartford Foundation Civic Engagement Grants, totaling $186,100, announced by HFPG earlier this month.

“We are grateful for the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving’s commitment to encouraging public participation in the electoral process,” Riordan-Nold said, “and we look forward to supporting organizations in the Hartford region and across the state in using this data in their work.”

The Connecticut Data Collaborative (CT Data) is a statewide public-private partnership that advocates for the public availability of open and accessible data. CT Data strives for informed decision-making across Connecticut, empowering an ecosystem of data users by democratizing access to public data and building data literacy skills. In addition, CT Data is the lead organization for the State of Connecticut in the U.S. Census Bureau’s State Data Center Program and Connecticut’s official source for 2020 Census data.

CT Data creates interactive data portals, platforms, and stories for users to explore; teaches data skills through workshops; consults with organizations on their specific data needs; and supports a community of data users through events and  conferences. More than 200 data sets are now accessible to the public on the CT Data website, including a wide array of subjects and policy categories. More information is available at



Michelle Riordan-Nold
Connecticut Data Collaborative
Executive Director


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