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State Legislative Election Returns Database

This is a dataset of state legislative election returns for nearly all elections from 1968 to present in all 50 states, encompassing over a third of a million cases and numerous variables.


This dataset:

  • Was used in expert witness testimony for the U.S. Supreme Court case Gill v Whitford (2017) which pertained to partisan gerrymandering.


  • Was used by multiple political groups to forecast the 2018 state legislative elections

  • Has been used by hundreds of scholars and data journalists. The edition updated through the 2016 elections posted on Harvard’s Dataverse has been downloaded 3,325 times as of May 4, 2020.

  • Is currently used on several sites that track partisan gerrymandering for concerned citizens!2016-ushouse

These entities have not provided levels of attribution that sufficiently reflect the extent of work I’ve done. I have little problem with this, as long as I can secure enough compensation to continue my work.


I have been compensated for this dataset, but not at a level that reflects the time and expertise that has gone into it or its value as a public good.


The latest edition of this dataset is ready to be made public immediately.


I have:

  • Updated this dataset with the 2007 – 2018 elections. This dataset was inherited from an earlier generation of scholars who collected 1968-2006.

  • Spent 1,823 hours from Sep 3, 2014 to April 26, 2020 updating, correcting and maintaining it

  • Spent well over 1,000 hours cleaning 1968-2006 before the above work

  • Added a host of important variables for all years, including those tracking redistricting

  • Been generous in making this dataset public. The edition going through the 2016 elections has been posted on Harvard’s Dataverse.

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