By Bert Granberg on Nov 05, 2014
Maps Assist in Accessing Election Results
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Results from yesterday's elections for statewide and local offices are available via a new, revamped website: https://electionresults.utah.gov/. Visitors to the site can search for the results they are interested in by office type, district number, and, by using a map interface that allow users unfamiliar with district numbers to click the map to see results.
One of the requirements for the new election results site was to roll out a simple solution that would complement the traditional method of accessing results by district numbers alone. It was also important that the solution be cost effective and not present any scaling issues as site traffic peaked within a 1 or 2 day time frame. The new map additions use html image maps, generated by UGRC using an old ArcMap VBA script together with political boundary layers from the State Geographic Information Database (SGID).
There are many possibilities for using map technology to make elections results more accessible. For example, since Utah has a statewide address finding (a.k.a. geocoding) web service and a statewide precincts map layer, a ballot-specific set of results could be presented for a given address or a map click provided by the user. Vote shares could also be displayed visually using maps. While there are many sometimes tantalizing approaches. Cost, scalability, and additional benefit will need to be weighed in exploring any next steps.
Congratulations to the Elections support staff in county and local government, at the Lt. Governor's office, and to DTS's developer staff on a successful election and rollout of the new results site.