The Montgomery County Election Commission will extract and store the November 2014 election results because of a pending legal challenge to the passage of Amendment 1. The State Election Commission has ordered Montgomery County – as well as all of Tennessee’s county election commissions – to extract all of the November 2014 election data, and store it that on external devices, according to a notice from the local Election Commission. The lawsuit, challenging how the state calculated the votes for Amendment 1 – a constitutional amendment giving the the Tennessee General Assembly more leeway in enacting abortion restrictions – has not yet been resolved. Thus the 2014 election data will need to be extracted and preserved to be used in the lawsuit, said Vickie Koelman, the administrator of elections.
Just weeks after the availability of completed absentee ballots on the public email server came to light, questions are being raised about access to login information for the state’s election database system. The email server makes available to the public correspondence between officials in New Hanover County, including emails to and from elections director Marvin McFadyen. Since the ballots issue came to light last month, the county removed McFadyen’s email from the public server. According to a news release in late November from the Derrick Hickey Campaign, it found a “stockpile” of voted absentee ballots.
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.
Voting Blogs: Filling in the Record Book: Election Data Analysis Can’t Start Without Election Data Collection | Election Academy
Yesterday, Nate Silver’s new and expanded FiveThirtyEight had a fascinating story on Dick Pfander,”The Man Who Preserved Decades of NBA History“, whose hobby of collecting and tabulating years of NBA boxscores (the image above is handwritten career stats for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) formed the basis for the league’s early statistical records. Now, that archive is powering a new generation of highly-sophisticated analysis. I highly recommend the article as an example of how something that seems obvious and straightforward to collect and analyze – sports statistics – is anything but. To an election geek, the article is timely because of a discussion that took place yesterday at the Senate Rules Committee hearing on “Collection, Analysis and Use of Data: A Measured Approach to Improving Election Administration.”