Election and Results Data Formats, Round Two

May 29, 2013

In April we unveiled our initial thoughts for what OpenElections data might look like, and we asked for your comments. You responded, particularly in our Google Group, with suggestions and improvements. So we’re back with a new version of both election and results data, and we want your feedback.

The updated elections data spec includes a new unique identifier for an election (which we define as a date with one or more regularly scheduled or special elections within a state) as well as the adoption of the Open Civic Data Division Identifiers that we have written about. But it also asks some questions about our design and whether there are easier or cleaner ways to present the information we gather to users. Sample JSON and CSV files are available.

The revised results data spec includes additional changes since the first incarnation, particularly in regards to how we reference candidate names. Like the election data spec, there are a series of questions to consider, but we also want to know what we’ve missed or anything else that seems important to include. The results data is displayed in sample JSON and CSV files as well.

It’s important to stress that these are not the final versions of the files that OpenElections will produce. For example, we haven’t yet included standardization fields that will tie OpenElections data to other identifiers outside of political geography. But we want to get the foundation right, so we welcome your contributions. The best place to join the conversation is the Google Group, but feel free to send us an email or otherwise let us know what you’re thinking.