Friday, July 20, 2012

Crowdsourcing Election Data

During this cycle of elections in the post-Soviet world, mobile technology has played an important role in providing information about on-the-ground activities in real time. Crowd-sourcing produces noise - notably in the potential for trolls to insert false reports and selection effects in reporting (with large urban centers more likely to have submissions) - but also provides valuable information about how elections are administered. Citizen-led monitoring efforts did not originate in the region, but they reached a large scale in Russia's recent elections ( Two upcoming elections in the fall, in Georgia and Ukraine, will also feature online, real-time monitoring with data already appearing online. Maidan ( with reports here: and Elections Portal ( are tracking reports of alleged violations. Other projects are planned, and I will post links when they are online.

These efforts, coupled with state-sanctioned webcams in polling stations, will provide the public, media, and scholars access to new kinds of data that could produce valuable insights about how elections are conducted and perceived.

No comments:

Post a Comment