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Case Study: the BBC

BBC News app logo on mobile phone screen.

Working with the BBC to provide polling station information to voters.

Each year, the BBC News website runs a large and well-regarded programme of local election coverage. It offers its readers features on all stages of the election cycle, from pre-election explainers to post-results analysis. As part of this they run a postcode lookup which gave people information about elections happening in their council area.

At Democracy Club, we run an online polling station finder in conjunction with the Electoral Commission.

We approached the Electoral Commission to see if we could obtain polling station information. We know users search for information on polling stations and we realised that teaming up could help us provide this to our audiences. It was a good two/three-way relationship with Democracy Club and the Electoral Commission because it helped with the joint goal of getting this information to a wider audience. A by-product of using the API was we could get candidate data into our lookup, which we felt was another good public service. This meant we were able to provide ward level data to our users.

Using our API, the BBC embedded the lookup into a number of local election stories across their news website. This meant they were able to give readers precise details about their election day - whether and when they had an election, who they could vote for, and where they could vote. The BBC lookup received over 400,000 postcode searches over the two election weeks (England and Northern Ireland) of 2023.

Image source.

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