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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

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Awards, Judges Announced for Capitol Code: Open Data Jam
February 22 Event Aims to Deliver Citizen-Driven Solutions Using Existing Public Data
Posted Date: 2/18/2014

Contact: Nathan Bowie, (651) 297-8919,

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota — The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State today announced the award opportunities and judges for Capitol Code: An Open Data Jam — a collaborative, idea-sharing event for citizens to use accessible public datasets to create new technology solutions that can stimulate business ideas, such as smartphone applications.

Capitol Code will be held 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Saturday, February 22, at CoCo in Uptown Minneapolis; the co-working space is being donated with support from Google for Entrepreneurs. Registration for the event is open at To-date, there are nearly 100 registrants, including civic activists, designers, government employees, journalists, non-profit employees, software developers, artists, students and more.

“A diverse set of participants will make this event a success,” says Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. “It’s a positive demonstration of government collaborating with private firms and community groups to stimulate technology solutions that can lead to business growth and employment.”

The event will include public datasets related to voting and elections (such as polling place information and election results), as well as business filings, official documents (proclamations, extraditions, oaths), and more. Public datasets from the Minnesota State Demographic Center, U.S. Census Bureau and other state agencies will also be available.

Citizens are encouraged to view, comment on and share ideas for using public data:

Capitol Code Award Categories and Opportunities

  • Most Entrepreneurial — meeting with tenKsolar CEO Joel Cannon.
  • Best Tool to Engage the Public in Civic Life — meeting with Executive Director Steven Clift.
  • Most Design-Driven — design lab tour with Thomas Fisher, dean of the College of Design, University of Minnesota.
  • Best Data Mash-Up — meeting with Minnesota Chief Information Officer Carolyn Parnell.
  • “Most Whoa…”— Minnesota State Capitol tour with Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.

Capitol Code Judges

  • Laura Andersen, customer experience and service design consultant
  • Susan Brower, Minnesota State Demographer
  • Spencer Cronk, commissioner, Minnesota Department of Administration
  • Thomas Fisher, dean of the College of Design, University of Minnesota
  • Andrew Johnson, Minneapolis City Council member

Capitol Code partners include the state’s lead technology agency, MN.IT; the Minnesota State Demographic Center; the University of Minnesota Center for Urban and Regional Affairs; U.S. Census Bureau; and the community technology group Open Twin Cities.

Sponsors of the event include: CoCo and Google for Entrepreneurs; EcoStatic Inc.;; five friends food; Joia; and SoMakers and DevJam Studios.

About the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State
The Secretary of State is the chief election official in Minnesota and is responsible for the administration of the state’s election law. In this capacity, the office operates the Statewide Voter Registration System and prepares the official roster of voters for every election. The office also accepts filings by candidates, trains local election officials, and conducts voter education and outreach programs.

The Secretary of State is the keeper of the Great Seal of Minnesota and has the role of certifying the authenticity of a wide variety of official documents, including proclamations and executive orders.

A main function of the office is the review, approval and filing of articles of incorporation and amendments for all businesses and nonprofit organizations conducting business in Minnesota. The Office of the Secretary of State also processes all notary public applications; serves as the state’s central filing system for lien information related to the Uniform Commercial Code; and administers Safe at Home, an address confidentiality program designed to assist Minnesotans who fear for their safety.