Analysis

Election Tech Tuesday: Ohio Tests New Standard for Election Night Results Reporting

Election night results reporting is often the most public part of an election official’s job. Consolidating returns from jurisdictions that employ various data formatting, vendors, and equipment can be difficult. By instituting a standard data structure, however, election officials can streamline the delivery of results from precincts to county election offices to the state.

The Ohio Secretary of State’s office implemented just such a reporting standard ahead of the November 2014 general election. The state selected the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1622.2 draft standard from a set of options available for election night results reporting, which also included Election Markup Language (EML), The Associated Press (AP), and the Florida Department of State’s Division of Election’s schema. Ohio officials chose the IEEE 1622.2 standard because it provides results in a media-friendly format.

The state was able to build a prototype in only one week, without disrupting its data collection process. The AP also used the new standard to import Ohio’s election night results and incorporate them into its reporting.

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