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Under review

Elections 2020 - what would your media organization want?

Joe Hansen (Product manager) 2 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Robert Dundon 5 hours ago 7

We are considering building a new "simple" elections platform for the 2020 election cycle and beyond. This would be more streamlined and easy to use than the old Election Stats, and would include AP election data for state and national elections, leaving you to focus on local. You'd still need to update your local race results as often as you want to make them available for your visitors, but the state and national would be automatic.

I'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts on what you would like to see. Is this something your site could use?

What functionality would you want in such a product?

How are you currently handling election results?

It'd be great to see something like this, but I'd prefer seeing it as source agnostic.   We pull in election results programatically and by hand depending on jurisdiction and don't use AP results at all...but I'd love to see a flexible front end we could just plug json, xml or csv into.



Under review

Would having an API to add/edit candidates and races be enough? Then you could build your own data ingesters and update the blox assets with the new information programmatically.

This definitely sounds like something we'd use. Right now we are just building HTML tables and anything that makes that easier on the newsroom would be welcome.

It would be great to have a product that allows us to have an individual widget for each race that could be placed on multiple pages.  That way, we can build a page for each county.  Or, a page for just statewide races.   Or even a page just for the referendums.  Kinda mix and match the races to create some custom displays.

Would be great to include the ability to update the entire race (not just vote counts) programatically...   That's very helpful when, an hour after the polls close, you find out it's "John Smyth" and not "John Smith."

Also, lots of CSS selectors for custom styling of the widgets.

We would definitely be interested. Can you offer any examples of the previous Elections deal that you mentioned. We weren't with TownNews then.

Thanks,

Thomas

Thomas, there aren't any examples any more, but basically it was a fairly complicated and difficult to set up system that was based on sports stats. The goal of this product would be something simple and very focused, as well as something that can be updated programmatically if you have a local dev.

I actually made a thing for this while I worked at BH Media (which I no longer work for).

Not sure if they use it now, but it originally just used the AP API, and then I added support for pulling info from the Virginia State Board of Elections and then Oklahoma's XML files.

When I left, there was a PHP library that had a common-denominator object model for elections (which would spit out the same structure no matter the source) with the ability to add custom election sources for importing.

The JSON was stored on the /app directories, then handled by blocks that used JS and Handlebars to render HTML.