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Roll call vote format update

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  • Josh Tauberer
    All, The data format for roll call votes is being updated. New elements and attribute values are now possible. This was done so that House votes for election
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2009
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      All,

      The data format for roll call votes is being updated. New elements and
      attribute values are now possible. This was done so that House votes for
      election of the speaker can be parsed (Alex Milowski's idea).

      In particular:

      At the top of the file, there are new "option" elements that give the
      possible votes that a Member might cast: the textual description in the
      body of the element ("Aye", "Present", "Guilty", etc.), and a "key"
      attribute that matches the "vote" attribute later on (e.g. +, -, 0, and
      P as always).

      On voter elements, there is a new value attribute that repeats the
      textual description of the vote from the top, for convenience.

      For votes for election of the speaker (and perhaps others where names
      are involved?), the option elements include the choices for speaker. The
      key attribute takes on other arbitrary values that aren't to be relied
      on, except to match the vote attribute on voter elements.

      The format is, in a sense, backwards compatible, except for new vote
      files that are now available for election of the Speaker, which might
      mess you up if you don't check for unexpected values for the vote attribute.

      Examples:

      http://www.govtrack.us/data/us/110/rolls/h2007-2.xml (election of speaker)

      http://www.govtrack.us/data/us/110/rolls/h2007-3.xml (routine vote)

      The data files are in the process of being updated. It'll take several
      hours.

      --
      - Josh Tauberer
      - GovTrack.us

      http://razor.occams.info

      "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
      falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
      Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
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