Monitoring the Elections

Code for Switzerland as the country goes to the polls

This weekend is not only the 3rd DINAcon conference organized with support from the Parliamentary group for Digital Sustainability, it is also the 51st federal election (since 1848!) in Switzerland. Hacking and politics have never been such bedbuddies as this year, which saw the first Swiss Twitter referendum, the launch of the Democracy Foundation, and the globally discussed E-voting Project. So it's no surprise that many of us in the Swiss open source and data community have been involved in projects working with political data this year.

Inspired by the BFS Elections 2019 OGD announcement, this challenge is to make something with the new Open Government Data (OGD) service for the upcoming federal election.

During the HACKnight, we swapped ideas with a member of the Freedomvote team covering of the elections, who have an issue up to use this new data. Check out

Image: Oleg Lavrovsky via blog CC BY 4.0

{ hacknight challenges }

The first challenge is to come up with ideas of what election data can actually be used for. Research the topic of election monitoring, compile a community-run list of awesome apps, visualizations, data journalism and research projects on the topic. One starting point could be the 2015 Hackdays from the previous elections. Use this to decide what would be the best approach to using the new data.

For the upcoming Elections, the data is already available in zeroed form, so the first step is to find it on the portal, download it in one of the national languages, check the OGD licensing terms and technical conditions of the data.

Switzerland's highest ranked dataset in the, now rather out of date but still usable, Global Open Data Index is its Election Results. This is an important area of open data activism. Find out how comprehensively election results are being published at other government levels, such as the cantonal and municipal level, or other processes, such as referendums. Research existing initiatives and see if they have open source projects or need community support in some way. Propose a strategy for the community to monitor and make use of OGD related to the democratic process in the years to come. Petition key institutions such as, Parldigi, BFS for support by organizing a fundraiser and roadmap.




Projects in need of patching, ideas of things to start - put your thinking caps on and take part in an open source challenge presented at the HACKnight! Contact us if you have any questions, or add one of your own through GitHub or after logging in here. We recommend that every Challenge proposes tasks on several levels:

Level 1 challenge NEWBIE challenges about becoming a user of a product/project and learning the ropes.

Level 2 challenge INTERMEDIATE tasks for people with experience in the project and/or the technical domains involved.

Level 3 challenge EXPERT challenges will include things like security testing, performance optimisation and other advanced topics.

HACKnight 2019