We’ve just launched a new Transparency Corps task to help digitize state voting data. If you have five minutes head there now and help digitize a PDF or two.
Early this year we began our Fifty State Project, a project to scrape and organize data from all fifty state legislative websites. The project has continued to grow, with several hackathons and two Google Summer of Code students working on the project over the summer. Just a few weeks ago Michael Stephens joined us part time to work on the project.
We are making steady progress and have now built up a lot of the infrastructure that will be required to begin distributing the data we have collected. We have also started to run into cases where despite the best efforts of the developers on the project, we can’t get the full range of information we need to make this legislative data useful.
Many state legislatures only make their legislature’s votes available in the form of PDFs that computers can’t easily parse. This makes it difficult for us to aggregate these votes and present them in an easy-to-use manner. We have posted a new TransparencyCorps task to help digitize this information, starting with the results from the Kentucky Legislature.
This is a great way for you to contribute to the Fifty States Project even if you aren’t a developer. Please go to TransparencyCorps (sign up for an account if you haven’t already) and start helping on this task.