Offline Election Results

September 7, 2015 — Leave a comment

In some states, getting election results data is pretty easy (looking at you, Maryland, Wyoming and Florida, to name three). In others, it’s a matter of going county-by-county, as we’ve previously written. But in most of these cases, we’ve been dealing with results files that are available online.

But what about cases where the results aren’t on the Internet?

You might think that’s far-fetched, but it’s not. As we’ve been working through Oregon, for example, we’ve come across a handful of counties that do not post precinct-level election results on county websites. For these counties, we’ve requested that data be sent to us, and we’ve gotten PDFs and spreadsheets and even paper in response.

Currently we have results from 10 Oregon counties that weren’t previously available online. So we’re publishing those, too, even before we convert them into data for our purposes. Here, for example, is the repository containing Oregon county files we’ve obtained (including those from Tillamook County, which we’ve written about). Posting those PDF files not only helps us build our collection, but it enables volunteers like Pete Huang to convert them into data, as he did for Harney, Wheeler and Morrow counties.

Oregon’s not alone, we’re finding. In states like Connecticut, which has few counties and towns and cities can be more meaningful political jurisdictions, we’ve added 2014 results files sent to us by volunteers. We’ve also started a collection for Kansas, which has yet to publish precinct-level data for any statewide races last year, despite doing so in earlier years. In both cases, we’ve gotten the files thanks to John Mifflin, a Washington state resident who has been collecting election results from counties and cities for a number of years and contributes data to the folks who work on Daily Kos Elections. John’s work has made it possible for us to fill in gaps in our own efforts and we’ve also tried to help convert PDF and other image files into formats that he can use for his purposes.

While our main focus is on collecting and publishing county-level results, we’ve seen the need to make election results available in whatever form we can find them. If you’re interested in helping out, we’ve got some “easy tasks” and we’re always interested in hearing from people who have election results to share, too.

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