There’s a lot of talk these days about transparent and open governments and recently the Colorado Secretary of State’s office put their money where their mouth is and created a statewide elections data portal. The Accountability in Colorado Elections (ACE) site was launched in late July and it provides, through a series of interactive maps, charts and tables, Colorado election data by county. Although all of this information has long been publicly available, it was not centrally located, thus sending those seeking the information to as many as 64 different websites and elections office. This is a big step forward in the world of elections data. “Over a century ago, states started reporting election returns in a centralized, uniform fashion, which was an important step in reassuring the public that election results were determined above-board,” said Charles Stewart, the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at MIT. “Now, the big question is, ‘what are election officials DOING in their jobs?’ Something like ACE helps answer that question. Colorado is the first state to put all of the county information in one centralized location.
“I wish all states would do something like this — that the EAC [The U.S. Election Assistance Commission] would take the data it collects through the Election Administration and Voting Survey and present it in as attractive package as this,” Stewart said.
According to a spokesperson for the secretary of state’s office, the decision to put the information online was all about bringing accountability to the taxpayers.
“… Colorado counties spent $7.5 million to administer the 2013 elections. Coloradans deserve to know how that money is being spent,” said Andrew Cole, a spokesman for Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
Cole added that while Colorado is proud to lead the way in election transparency, for the secretary of state’s office the system was built for the people of Colorado.
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.