The large-scale data collection projects described below will enable essential analyses of the democratic process.
These analyses will be for important topics such as:
the impact of state election laws
the competitiveness of elections
the representation of women and minorities
the impact of campaign finance laws
the state legislative process
how elections work generally
the administration of voter registration lists
which will be useful for:
public reports for concerned citizens
targeting decisions by political groups
expert witness testimony
For the sake of brevity, explanations of the uses of the data is only lightly touched on. It’s assumed that many will see the value without lengthy explanations, but I can provide them on request.
MY WORK UP TO NOW
The scope of these projects is immense and my skillset puts me in a unique position to execute them.
Between September 3, 2014 to April 26, 2020 my worklog indicates I worked on these projects for
but many thousands of hours were worked before this time.
Number of hours worked is obviously an imprecise measure of a product’s value, but is an easily communicable metric.
This doesn’t include thousands of hours by paid workers (also documented).
By working outside an institution I’ve been able to focus 91% of the 16,569 hours I worked in this period on activities that directly create a usable product.
Two of these projects are complete while the others are far along, as described below.
CALL FOR FUNDING
I can no longer advance these projects without substantially more external funding.
My projects have mostly been moved forward by personally funded work.
Projects have also been moved forward by taking related small scope jobs, but this piece-meal approach has been inefficient.
I believe that funding the projects here would yield an uncommonly high return in terms of the public good.
I ask for nothing up-front. Funders have the opportunity to examine the finished product before dispersing funds.
That said, I do need pledges of support now.
Division of labor is a hallmark of technological progress. It is best to have a specialist like myself handle data collection and cleaning. My extensive knowledge of both the substantive area and technical aspects of dataset compilation yield a high level of efficiency. It is also inefficient for the same dataset to be created multiple times, especially when the people doing so lack the specialized skills to do it expeditiously. Mistakes of omission and commission are common. For this reason, the datasets I’ve collected should be made publicly available as soon as possible.