Local Elected Officials Database

This project has as its primary purpose coding the prior office holding experience of state legislative candidates from the late 1960s to the present. However, a by-product of this is the creation of a database of local officials that would have many other applications.

IMPORTANCE

Uses specific to these data beyond the general ones already listed include:

  • Analyses of the causes of the incumbency effect

  • Providing insight into candidate pools

  • Analyses of the election of women and minorities

  • Analyses of the impact of local election official tenure on election administration

 

This project is especially relevant to state legislative election forecasting.

MY WORK UP TO NOW

  • Optical character recognition of the Municipal Yearbook from 1966 to 2010 that includes around 6,000 pages of local election official tables and cleaning the output. A lot of time has been spent cleaning it, but a lot of work is left to be done.

 

  • Optical character recognition of tables of county officials in around ten states’ blue books and one state’s municipal officials table, all from the 1960s to the present.

 

There are now several million officials in this database.

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