Data Is Plural

... is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets.

2016.09.28 edition

🇺🇸  Election edition.🇺🇸

State-level results. Perhaps better known for its campaign-finance data, the Federal Election Commission also publishes official state-level results for presidential, House, and Senate elections going back to 1982. The results include all official candidates, and sometimes even write-ins (depending on the state). In the 2008 presidential election, eight Rhode Island voters wrote-in “Stephen Colbert,” five scribbled “Joe the Plumber,” and seven chose “Jesus.”

County-level and precinct-level results. OpenElections, a Knight Foundation–funded project, aims “to create the first free, comprehensive, standardized, linked set of election data for the United States.” They’ve made progress, but are looking for additional volunteers. In the meantime, you can download county-level presidential results from the National Atlas of the United States for 2004, 2008, and 2012 — or all combined. And you can download precinct-level results from 2002 to 2012 from the Harvard Election Data Archive (codebook here).

Ways and means. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s Election Administration and Voting Survey “includes data on the ability of civilian, military and overseas citizens to register to vote and successfully cast a ballot,” as well as an overview of each state’s voting laws and procedures. [h/t Derek Willis]

Global elections. The Constituency-Level Elections Archive, based at the University of Michigan, collects and standardizes results from lower-house legislative elections around the world. (In the U.S., the lower house is the House of Representatives; in the U.K., it’s the House of Commons; in Albania, it’s the Kuvendi i Shqipërisë.) The latest release covers 1,591 elections from 136 countries. [h/t Jeremy Darrington]

Bush v. Gore v. hanging chads. After 2000’s contentious election, the National Opinion Research Center — funded by a consortium of news organizationsrigorously reviewed 175,010 Florida ballots that weren’t recognized as “valid” votes for president. In November 2001 the researchers concluded that, even with a full recount of disputed ballots, George W. Bush still would have won the state by 493 votes. The underlying data is available in several formats.