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Re: [govtrack] SWDB

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  • Scott Beardsley
    ... SoS doesn t have precinct level digitized as far as I know (although they are avail in paper form at the State Archives where one election = 20 boxes of
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 31, 2005
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      --- Scott Lay <scott@...> wrote:
      > The registration statistics I use are from
      > the Secretary of State's office, as it is more
      > frequently updated

      SoS doesn't have precinct level digitized as far as I
      know (although they are avail in paper form at the
      State Archives where one election = 20 boxes of
      paper). I assume you just have the district, county,
      and state totals right? From what I understand SWDB
      gets their data from the Registrar/County Clerks[1].
      Ideally both sources' totals should match.

      FYI - A little birdy told me that the Not Cast tallies
      in the SoS's SOV cannot be trusted for state AD and SD
      races. They're actually discontinuing reporting that
      info because nobody at the SoS wants to certify the
      results!?! Pulling an ostrich (if we pretend the
      problem doesn't exist it'll go away) instead of
      actually fixing the issues. Did you notice they are
      not reported for Nov 2004[2]?

      > (and thus more useful for the political community)

      I think precinct-level granularity is very useful. SoS
      results are probably more practical because they
      ultimately decide who goes to Washington/Sacramento.
      The county data is where things get really interesting
      though. Really we should be gathering both (SoS for
      speed and County for detail).

      > However, I'd obviously love to get more data

      BTW, the offer to help you still stands. Email me if
      you have specific plans/needs.

      > Right now I have zip to district lookup ... I'd love
      > for it to be dead-on.

      You'd probably have to migrate to using
      precincts/census info for dead-on accuracy. Then you'd
      also have to have people supply their full address
      instead of just a zip. zip-to-district is a start

      > I'd also love to have district maps. Unfortunately,
      > all the maps are protected by copyright

      But the data that identifies the various boundaries
      shouldn't be :) I know you use php... maybe PEAR's
      Image_GIS[3] would work? I'll take a look and see if I
      can't put something together.

      > and the GIS software is quite pricey; however,
      > I'm now playing with some open source software that
      > may enable publicly accessible maps.

      GRASS[4] is the only OSS product I know of but it
      seems to be relatively complete. That other company
      (ersi) seems to have a stranglehold in government even
      more profound then their big brother MS.


      [1] http://swdb.berkeley.edu/info/faq.html#6
      [3] http://pear.php.net/package/Image_GIS
      [4] http://grass.itc.it/

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