It’s nearly election time again. Well, almost.
May 2016 will see a much wider range of elections in the UK - from local councils to city mayors, from police commissioners to the devolved assemblies and parliaments.
So it’s time to start planning.
Earlier this year, through the work of perhaps a thousand volunteers - from a crack core team building the tech, to hundreds of folks entering data - Democracy Club directly and indirectly provided data to millions of voters who sought to be better informed than ever before.
For May 2016, we’ve set ourselves the ambitious target of knowing about every candidate in every election in the UK.
We’re starting work on the crowdsourcing platform - and once it’s ready, we’ll need plenty of help finding candidates data. Then we’ll make that data available to anyone who wants it. We’re hoping to partner again with internet search giants, big media companies, local newspapers, campaigners - to get that information out there.
And that’s not all. On 7 May, we noticed that one of the most popular internet searches was: “Where do I vote?” For that reason, among others, we think there’s real value to be gained in open data for polling stations - their locations and the areas they serve.
If we can do it, we’ll be able to help voters find their polling station at the tap of a phone or the rattle of a keyboard. To do this, we’re going to need to work closely with election officials in local government - and we’ve had some productive early meetings with the Electoral Commission and some trailblazing councils.
So more requests coming soon.
In the meantime, if you’re someone who might like to use candidates or polling station data - get in touch.
If you’re someone who can help build or design the site - get in touch!
And, of course, if you have links to funders or grantmakers - get in touch. And many thanks to those of you already donating.
Along the way, as much as we can, we’ll be blogging about our progress. Watch this space.