Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Local elections 2014

For the last years I had found Excel sheets or PDF files which listed all the local administrative units which have a term end in the respective year, which helped me a lot to get a complete coverage of the local governments and their elections. Though I knew this year is a rather quiet year with only relative few term ends, I was hoping to find the same list again. However, in yet another redesign of their website, the Election Commission removed the page which collected the links to these files, and I wasn't able to find any new source. With lots of other sources I was however able to fill in all the election dates in 2010, except one I could not find anywhere - the subdistrict municipality Tha Kham (เทศบาลตำบลท่าข้าม) in Phetchabun. The Election Commission only had the confirmation of the 2010 election results which listed all the names of the elected councilors and the mayor, but not the date of the election. Also the source where I get most of the local government election data, a database by the Department of Local Administration, omits the councilors and mayor in this case.

Though I had done several attempts with Google before, this time I finally stumbled on a document database of the Election Commission containing many of announcements - interestingly named "OldDocList" even though it is still actively used, the latest document is dated May 12th, just one day old. I tried my luck to search for the words "local term ends" (ท้องถิ่นที่ครบวาระ), and to my surprise there was one PDF for 2014 together with the old one I already knew, the document I failed to find for months. Sadly a PDF again, and only a scan of a PDF, so no way to convert it into a Excel sheet to be easier processed, but since I only needed one of the dates that is no problem. So finally could add the missing election to be dated October 3rd.

Though the year is already half over, the little statistics from the first page is worth noting. There are 690 local elections scheduled this year, 524 in municipalities, 145 in TAO, 2 PAO chairmen elections, and one the Bangkok council elections someday in October. Last year there were 3596, and 2012 a total of 3116 elections - and I am still working through the backlog from these years to get the XML up to date.