"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Counting is hard

On April 7th, there was a provincial general election in Quebec.

Quebecers collectively cast 4,232,262 valid ballots in 18,658 polling stations (plus special and advance polls) across 125 provincial electoral districts.

Just 25 days later, the Quebec electoral office has published the detailed poll-by-poll breakdown of the election results, and in machine-readable .csv format.

In the Former Republic of Dannystan, the provincial elections act gives the Chief Electoral Officer nine months to publish a "book" of detailed poll-by-poll election results. And you bet your sweet bippy, the Chief Electoral Office takes every single one of those nine months before "publishing" those results by depositing a copy at the legislative library, then, some days later, after prodding, posting the document on-line, in the form of a bloated, non-manipulatable PDF.

This same pattern of extreme hesitancy to publish election results has obtained for decades in the FRD, even as every other electoral agency in the country has moved towards quicker and quicker publishing of election results, and in formats that lend themselves to GIS and other data applications.

By way of comparison, in the 2011 election, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians collectively cast 222,842 valid ballots in 1563 polling stations across 48 provincial electoral districts. The task of tallying the 2011 NL provincial election was equal to tallying about 6.5 Quebec electoral districts in 2014.

There is something fundamentally wrong with Elections Newfoundland and Labrador. Fundamentally, profoundly, inexplicably wrong.

But what?


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