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Lucy Light, Lucy Light, shortest day, medium-sized blog

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It’s the end of the year! Is anyone still out theeere? In today’s blog, we write a letter to Father Christmas, celebrate our brilliant volunteers, and count down the top five blog posts of the year!

🎅 Dear Father Christmas, 🎅

We’ve been very good. We help loads of people to vote and to get better information before they do. For free!

Here’s our Christmas wish list. We’d love to do some user research in the new year. We’d love to up our efforts to press the state to deliver some elements of what we do. We’d love to improve the user experience of the crowdsourcer. We’d love to perfect the design of our websites for voters. We’d love to spend more time building partnerships to use the data to get it to more people. We’d quite like to think about running experimental trials on elections reminders. We’d love to run some new events, bringing more people together to make democracy better. And some new mountain bikes too.

Be Father Christmas! Help all our Christmas wishes come true! (Also, feedback on the donate page much appreciated!)

📯 O Come, All Ye Volunteers 📯

Democracy Club has totally smashed the by-elections this year. As far as we know, we’ve not missed a single election or candidate. We’ve not done badly at capturing results either. This is largely due to the excellent efforts of some of our amazing long-standing volunteers, putting in the hours, week after week, to build open data for everyone.

At this point we’d normally offer some tokens of appreciation, but have you seen the price of organic fair-trade hoodies? Yikes. Instead…this week, Chris finalised improvements to Every Election that will make everything a bit more robust and grant additional superpowers to our top volunteers in this area, especially Stuart, Andrew and Fred. Thank you all for your amazing work, as well as to everyone who this year added data on any candidates, came to a #SOPNDay party, reported a bug somewhere, or spread the word about the club! Forward!

📊 Hark! The blogs of the year! 📊

Did you religiously read every fridayblog this year? In case not… Here’s the countdown of the top five most-read blog posts of the year!

  • At five, slightly oddly, the blog of the week after the local elections, celebrating the extraordinary efforts of volunteers to collate all the results: It’s oh so quiet

  • At four, always a popular topic, Sym is saddened by geographic information, or the lack thereof, in Why we can’t rely on GSS codes, and what to do about it

  • At number three, technically it was our post announcing the board members, but that was in published in 2017, so it’s disqualified and instead… it’s a cry for help to deal with the vast quantity of polling location that we’d need to deal in the event of a general election: Help us scale in the event of a snap election.

  • The runner up for most popular blog post… it’s our request for machine learning expertise to help us process the official candidate notices more quickly: Machine learning to help elections.

  • And at Number One….it’s Rose’s round-up of the 2018 voter ID pilots: Voter ID what? Voter ID who?.

Not making the top five, but definitely worth an end-of-year boost:

🥳 What’s next? 🥳

Coming soon…2019! The core team will be back in action on 2 January, at which point it will be precisely four months to go before ~30m eligible voters can go to the polls in local elections. Yikes. And we might also have a snap election or referendum to deal with before then, just for fun. So have a well-deserved rest everyone — recharge those batteries for whatever 2019 will bring.

In the shorter term, keep an eye out next week for a little winterval blog on what-happened-next re open data on elected representatives.

Merry Christmas, one and all!

🎄