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Project aims at data standards for election results

12/08/16

LGA, Cabinet Office and Electoral Commission initiative raises promise of information for apps and analytics

The prospects for building online tools and running analytics around election results have received a boost with an effort to develop a common data standard for their reporting.

iStock_TylaArabas-polling-stationThe Local Government Association (LGA), Cabinet Office and Electoral Commission are working with a number of other partners to ensure that UK election results are made available in a consistent and open form.

They have launched a second round consultation with draft schema specifications for the data and publishing process.

The LGA has outlined the plan on its website, saying the aim is to ensure that data from election services departments can be easily discovered and combined with other election results into national and regional registers. This could feed into apps, other online tools and analytics.

Past initiatives of its type have foundered due to being over-ambitious, but the increasing emphasis on the transparency of government data has prompted the partners to launch a new effort. It was set off by former Prime Minister David Cameron in May under the UK Open Government National Action Plan 2016-18.

There is a feedback channel through the Local Open Data Community Group on local government’s Knowledge Hub, and the LGA is taking responses by email.

Other organisations involved in the project include the Association of Electoral Administrators, Democratic Audit UK at the London School of Economics, the Open Data Institute and Plymouth University School of Government.

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