The voice of the electorate

Voice Of The Electorate Privacy Policy

Updated April 14, 2017

This privacy policy of The Hobby, who created Voice Of The Electorate - “V.O.T.E.”, covers the V.O.T.E. web site. Your privacy is critically important to us. At The Hobby we have three fundamental principles:

  • We only store information that is potentially personally identifying with your explicit consent, or when it is absolutely necessary to operate our service
  • We don't share data with third parties unless it is necessary to operate the service
  • We don't collect information unless we truly need it to operate our service and to make the V.O.T.E. project more impactful

How We Operate Our Service

When you respond to one of our polls, we collect your response to the survey question. Separately, we use your IP address to attach a zip code to your response. We also hash (encode) your IP address and store the hash, separate from your poll response, to prevent voting more than once in the same poll. We also use a cookie to prevent a user from voting more than once in the same poll, and to combine data across multiple polls.

During the course of engaging with V.O.T.E., we may ask you to provide your phone number or email address. This is strictly optional. We use this information to alert you when new polls become available. We do not store any of this information alongside your poll votes. We may use data collected from Facebook as part of promotional activities on Facebook, or to better understand the behavior of our users in the aggregate.

We may also ask you, optionally, to provide us with non-personally identifying demographic data such as your political affiliation, geographic location, age etc. We store this kind of information alongside poll results because it allows us to provide richer insights into poll results.

If you engage with Voice of the Electorate via Facebook, including Facebook Live events, we may store your Facebook user ID on our servers to prevent double voting. This data is not stored alongside your contact information or your poll votes.

Except for the above, we do not store any information that is potentially personally identifying and do not pass such information along to any third party. We do use third party services, such as our web site hosting company and a third party polling backend company, to store and analyze the data we collect. We also use third party services to deliver SMS and email updates. We share only the necessary data with those third parties. Your data is protected to the extent of those third party companies' privacy policies.

On a regular basis, The Hobby will release non-personally-identifying information in the aggregate, e.g., by publishing poll results and reports providing more details about these poll results.

Communicating With Our Users

We may send you notifications, promotional communications, or other messages using contact information (e.g., your email address or phone number) you provide to us when we request it, when you register with one of our services or when you request information from us. You may opt out of continuing to receive optional messages by following the instructions included in each message. You release us from any responsibility for communications you do not receive.

We may send you service-related announcements when we believe it is necessary to do so. Generally, you may not opt-out of these announcements, which are not primarily promotional in nature. If you do not wish to receive these announcements, you have the option to deactivate your account.

Site Visitors

Like most site operators, The Hobby may collect non-personally-identifying information of the sort that web browsers and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, language preference, referring site, and the date and time of each visitor request, in addition to poll responses. The Hobby's purpose in collecting this type of non-personally identifying information is to better understand how The Hobby's visitors use its website.


A cookie is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor's computer, and that the visitor's browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. The Hobby may use cookies on the V.O.T.E. site to help The Hobby identify and track visitors, their usage of the V.O.T.E. website, and their website access preferences. The Hobby visitors who do not wish to have cookies placed on their computers should set their browsers to refuse cookies before using the V.O.T.E website, with the drawback that certain features may not function properly without the aid of cookies.

The Hobby may also use a first-party Google Analytics cookie in order to track usage of The Hobby's websites and to provide a more relevant experience to our users. Visitors can opt out of the Google Analytics features by using the Google Analytics Opt-out browser add-on.


We employ physical, electronic, and managerial measures to safeguard the information we collect online. However, no company can fully eliminate security risks, so we cannot make guarantees about any part of our services. You are responsible for keeping your username and password secret. Once you have registered with us, we will never ask you for your password. Please create a unique password for our services and do not use it for any other web services or applications. Do not share your password with anyone else.

Privacy of Minors

V.O.T.E. is not intended for minors. Minors must obtain parental consent to use our services. Minors under 13 years of age are expressly prohibited from using V.O.T.E. or providing any personal information. If you become aware that a child has provided us with personal information without parental consent, please contact us here. If we become aware that a child under 13 has provided us with personal information without parental consent, we remove such information and terminate the child's account.

Other Sharing Of Information

We will disclose data if we believe in good faith that such disclosure is necessary (1) to comply with relevant laws or to respond to subpoenas or warrants or legal process served on us; (2) to enforce our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy; (3) when we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to prevent physical harm or financial loss or in connection with an investigation of suspected or actual illegal activity. Our general procedure with respect to civil subpoenas requesting user data is to require a court order, binding on The Hobby, before we release such information.

Business Transfers

If The Hobby, or its assets, were to be acquired, or if The Hobby goes out of business or enters bankruptcy, user information would be one of the assets that could be transferred or acquired by a third party. You acknowledge that such transfers may occur, and that any acquirer of The Hobby may continue to use your personal information in accordance with the terms of this policy.

Privacy Policy Changes

The Hobby may change its Privacy Policy from time to time, and in The Hobby's sole discretion. Your continued use of any of The Hobby's sites after any change in this Privacy Policy will constitute your acceptance of such change.

When we make changes to our Privacy and Cookie Policy, we will post the changes here and update the date at the top of our policy.

California Residents

California Civil Code Section 1798.83 permits our users who are California residents to request and obtain from us a list of what personal information (if any) we disclosed to third parties for direct marketing purposes in the preceding calendar year and the names and addresses of those third parties. Requests may be made only once a year and are free of charge.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding our Privacy Policy please contact us via email to

The Hobby
135 Commonwealth Drive
Menlo Park, CA 94025


April 14, 2017

  • Updated this privacy policy to reflect that we now store Facebook user IDs, in order to prevent double voting.

March 29, 2017

  • Updated this privacy policy to explain that we offer to collect phone numbers and email addresses, and how we use the data collected in those cases.

March 20, 2017

  • Updated this privacy policy to explain that, starting today, we hash and store users’ IP addresses in order to avoid multiple voting.