Friday, November 9, 2012

Local election coverage at Election Commission

In the last weeks, a lot of local governments - especially Subdistrict Administrative Organizations (TAO/SAO) - had elections for their councils and usually also for the mayor. These are the reason why I haven't been able to post as regularly and in-depth here lately, as I am trying to keep up to date with all these and incorporating at least the basic data - the name of the mayor and the begin and end of the terms of the mayor and the council - into the XML files. In order to do so I have to rely on the data posted at the website of the Election Commission (ECT), or more exactly at the sub-pages maintained by the provincial branch offices of the Election Commission.

I have found several very detailed files already, most helpful so far are two Excel sheets which list all the entities which have their term ended in this year and in 2009. And the most detailed data for one specific province is available from the Trang office - an Excel sheet with all the councilors and mayors and their dates of election, including by-elections of councilors. Last updated in May 2011, it helped me to get Trang almost completely covered. Just hope there'll be an updated version of that file after the current row of elections is done.

But sadly only some of the provincial commissions keep their webspace updated, with items like a complete election reports containing all candidates and the votes they could win, or at least a list of winners like the one I just recently worked through for Nakhon Si Thammarat. Others provincial branches did not update their election calendar for months, or have no results from any elections. The worst is Bueng Kan, there even the start page shows a "Under construction" sign - should have been enough time since the creation of the province to get the website filled with content as well. But since its simply impossible to work through all the 3116 local elections this year, I focus on the southern provinces and those where I find very comprehensive documents - browsing through several long PDF just to find an election date is just beyond what I can manage. Of course I would be happy if anyone would help to update the XML files, then I could focus on programming something using these data, like my own dynamic election calendar.

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