Election Night Snapshots


Late last week, we had an idea: election night was sure to be a confusing rush, and the closeness of the race in many states made result-reporting snafus seem possible. And the basic shape of election night data is deeply lousy (outside of media outlets that subscribe to the AP). Why not try to keep a record of what election authorities disclosed, so we could have a closer look in the morning?

Drew and Kaitlin adapted some of Politwoops‘ code, and we quickly researched as many URLs for election results as we could. The results are necessarily incomplete: some states don’t aggregate their results in a central place, and some only went online during election night. But we managed a pretty good start.

We also decided to throw in a few media outlets, just for fun (and then a few more once the results began to come in and it became clear which sites might have to back off their predictions in a maximally screenshottable way). The results includes screenshots and HTML snapshots. Everything’s timestamped — the frequency of snapshots was determined both by when things changed (we only recorded new snapshots when something had been updated) and by the round-robining of the system (which was somewhat variable, based on the speed of the screenshot process).

We haven’t had time to go through all of this data, but we’d love your help (or just the chance to satisfy your curiosity). So if you’d like, head over to electionshots.sunlightlabs.com. The content is organized by state — ZZ is the media. We’re working to put together bulk download options now.