Survey of election reporting formats
This is a work in progress for uscountvotes.org.
So far only a few states have been looked over thoroughly and a few
other links pulled in from stuff on hand from other work.
Major voting technologies
Though it is unclear whether each of these formats come from the core
equipment (punchcard readers, optical scanners, e-vote stations,
central tabulators, etc), or an election management system (e.g. GEMS)
sold by the same manufacturer, or a system sold by a value-added reseller,
the following formats seems to be associated with certain base equipment
vendors. Also carefully note the terms in bold italics. These
are jargon terms which, if used when requesting data, may speed things up.
Another piece of advice for those requesting data: it is always preferable
to get the data in
electronic form, and you should say so first thing when requesting that
data from a BOE -- sometimes when they seem to be stalling you, they are
just thinking you want them to print out many pages of information, and
fax or mail it to you. It is often easier for them to email the information
or mail you a floppy, and saying you'd prefer an electronic format can
actually increase responsiveness. ASCII is always preferable, but
barring that, PDF, spreadsheet files, or even HTML is workable. Failing that
a scan of a hardcopy of the report is better than nothing, and at last
resort, a fax of the hardcopy -- but faxes will usually require manual entry
due to low resolution. If you do receive it as a fax, try to receive it
with a fax modem, rather than a paper fax machine -- the less times it goes
through the wringer before being digitized, the better the chance we can
- Deibold opscans generate these types of reports:
- ES&S systems have many variations depending on the underlying technology:
- NTS -- a data services and software company, not a machine vendor, has
their own format.
- Sequoia -- still trying to nail down this vendor's formats.
- I have only one sample from a Shoup/AVS Lever machine county so far:
- BCCS punchcard systems
- Hart Intercivic eSlate:
State hosting systems
Some enterprising "public minded" dotcommers started systems to try to
get all counties in their state to buy in to web services for their
BOEs. Unfortunately these systems tend not to do precinct level data,
which is a bad thing when a county opts to use them as their reporting
venue. Note in some cases, counties report both via one of these
services, and also on their own websites.
http://www.electionsonthe.net/fl/ is a dead link, but is present on
http://www.electionsonthe.net/in/ is a dead link, but is present on
Many counties are served/hosted by their vote equipment provider, Fidlar.
http://www.fidlar.com/results/us/ which also
handles a few in IA and NC.
- Not a state "system", per se, but it should be noted that in Massachussets,
where elections are run at the town, rather than county, level, of 351
towns, 129 of them have only one precinct, and as such would only need to
be consulted individually for absentee breakdowns.
- I don't think there is much we can do to automate Mississippi's handwritten
serving 10 counties, no precinct data
serving 10 counties, precinct data
depends on BOE.
serving 1 county, precinct data depends on BOE. (I mean really depends on them. Look how this guy did it, for laughs:
http://www.electionsonthe.net/sc/ is a dead link, but is present on the website.
http://www.electionsonthe.net/tn/ lists county contacts or webpages,
but they do not seem to actually serve any counties there.
http://www.votetn.com/ serves six counties, and provides precint level information.
This one is actually good, and pervasive.
http://sbe.vipnet.org/ VA "live" elections results by-precinct.
http://www.sbe.state.va.us/Election/results/ VA "archives," including by-precinct (Note we may
still need to hit some BOEs directly for audit purposes and they may have
the precinct-level data earlier.)
serving 9 counties no precinct level data