ElectionsNI: Assembly Elections #AE17. We’re back!

Well, it doesn’t seem all that long since we were frantically crowdsourcing live elections data for our ElectionsNI project.

In fact, it’s only been ten months, but we’re back to another round of elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

This time round it’ll be every bit as interesting, perhaps more so as people will be looking for the effects of recent political events and the reduction of Assembly seats to five per constituency (90 MLAs in all).

And we need your help…

As before, we’ll be keeping the website updated regularly through the count with live results. So far, we’ve been helping to gather information on the 2017 candidates for the excellent Democracy Club Candidates database (data which we are also using to help build our website).

Having this data allows us to produce visualisations of the results and the individual count stages (the vote transfers) as they happen. Have a look at the 2016 results to see what we mean.

All of the data that we collect to drive these animations are also available as open data. Useful if you’re into political science, are teaching politics students, or trying to engage more people in voting.

So, if you’re willing to help us gather the data, or if you’re going to be present at the count on 3 -4 March as an observer anyway, it would be great to have your assistance.

It’s as easy as taking and sending a photo, literally. More details on how to participate here.

A brief background to ElectionsNI

ElectionsNI aims to increase the availability of accurate and up-to-date (as real-time as possible) data around elections in Northern Ireland.

Prior to election day 2016, we had easily viewable (and downloadable) lists of candidates, searchable by constituency and by party, so voters could easily find out who was standing in their constituency.

Then, during the count itself, we crowdsourced data live from the count centres. Because results of the outcome for each stage in the count are directly available only to people with observer passes from the Electoral Commission, we had some volunteers in place to send us the photographs in pictures over Twitter so that we could gather and open up the data.

With up to 13 count stages in each of the 18 constituencies, it was a mammoth effort to keep on top of the results being produced quickly over a span of two days. But, thanks to our committed volunteers (or Count Correspondents) we were able to get close to having full coverage of all of the count centres for most of the time.

Photo by Justin Grimes [Licence: CC-By-SA 2.0]
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