Section 4: Open Election Data in Practice: Examples from Latin America Argentina
Election cycle assessed: October 27, 2013 Legislative Elections (national and local levels).
Election management body: Argentina provides an important example of open data on election officials at the polling station level (pollworkers). The data is provided in a granular way, down to the individual names and positions of polling officials at the polling station (mesa) level. The complete data is provided in bulk and is available for download in a non-proprietary (PDF), non-discriminatory and license-free format. The main drawback, however, is that it is not analyzable, since it is provided in PDF.
Political party campaign finance: Argentina’s political party campaign finance data is provided in a user-friendly and interactive format. It also provides the user with a variety of ways to download (in an analyzable format) different sets of data using filters, as well as visualization features (Figure 1 below). However, it is not granular. While it is admirable that data is provided down to the provincial level by each political party, the expenses and income are only provided at the level of major types of income and expenses. It does not provide any detailed line item data or individual expense/income data. Furthermore, the data is not provided in bulk and is through a proprietary software (Excel Online via Microsoft’s OneDrive).
Figure 1: Argentina - Campaign Expenditure Data, Mendoza Province
Data can be downloaded in Excel or accessed in more granular detail (by each individual party among coalitions or “fronts”).
Election results: Argentina’s preliminary election results are a particularly good example of data that meets nearly all open election data principles. The data is provided through Argentina’s Portal of Public Data, which is a user-friendly platform. Notably, the platform is non-proprietary (see open election data principle six), utilizing an Open Data Commons Open Database License ODbL. Argentina provides preliminary election results data for download in an analyzable, non-proprietary format (CSV). The results are granular (provided down to the polling station level) and are available to download for each election type (national or sub-national levels). In addition, unlike most countries, the complete dataset for the results for all types of elections held on October 27, 2013 if available in a bulk download in CSV format.
Final election results, however, are provided in a much less open manner through a different website. They are only available for download in PDF (not analyzable), and the data is provided only down to the provincial level.