Getting Election Data, and Why Open Data is Important (Shallow Thoughts)
lterrat's bookmarks 2017-01-15
"Back in 2012, I got interested in fiddling around with election data as a way to learn about data analysis in Python. So I went searching for results data on the presidential election. And got a surprise: it wasn't available anywhere in the US. After many hours of searching, the only source I ever found was at the UK newspaper, The Guardian.
Surely in 2016, we're better off, right? But when I went looking, I found otherwise. There's still no official source for US election results data; there isn't even a source as reliable as The Guardian this time.
You might think Data.gov would be the place to go for official election results, but no: searching for 2016 election on Data.govyields nothing remotely useful.
The Federal Election Commission has an election results page, but it only goes up to 2014 and only includes the Senate and House, not presidential elections. Archives.gov has popular vote totals for the 2012 election but not the current one. Maybe in four years, they'll have some data.
After striking out on official US government sites, I searched the web. I found a few sources, none of them even remotely official."