Mashup Can Start a Phone Poll in Minutes

Adam DuVander
May. 11 2010, 12:52PM EDT

Did you know most political polls in the U.S. are still done by phone? Most of it is automated, with voters using the buttons on the phone to reply to questions. Now some of these polls--including those by the Democratic National Committee--can be performed by a mashup, Precision Polling.

The company, which also includes school districts and non-profits as clients, uses the Twilio API for its telephony platform. Precision Polling creates calls and retrieves results via XML, then converts it into meaningful data for its users. You can create greetings and poll questions via text to speech, or by calling a number and recording your voice.

The two founders of Precision Polling attended the Open APIs for Government event we covered. In the video embedded below, they explain how their product works.

When I polled my friends about their sleep habits, I had graphs of the results (see below) in just a couple minutes. By using an API to perform the phone surveys, Precision Polling was able to focus on the process of creating a poll and viewing the results, rather than creating their own telephone server.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.