I recently learned that the House is actively considering a redesign/upgrade of their public vote posting procedures, in terms of the format and functionality of the Clerk’s House floor votes area.
I’d like to hear what sort of ideas and priorities everyone has about how one can interact with votes data. This is important from two perspectives, the data perspective and the citizen perspective.
As database managers, what features would be most helpful to see added to public votes data access? I was just told that one helpful aspect would be to have the DTD or schema itself be published or available after it has been decided on, so that one can see the specific way that the data is organized. From a data perspective, what else is most important to include? A standardized reference to an index of bill information (links to THOMAS/LIS)? Standardized representative elements that link to lawmakers’ pages? Some sort of change log, or a feed or new votes?
From the perspective of an individual citizen, what would you like to see there? Votes searchable by topic? Votes indexed by lawmaker? Links back to the party position, by whip statement? Indexing to Congressional Record statements (one can dream…)?
What are the most important improvements we’d like to see implemented? (I’d also like to see the Senate move in this direction too.)