On election data criteria, Oliver Buckley from UK government has more comment, including this point:
The 1983 Representation of the People Act explicitly requires votes from polling stations to be pooled in the interests of protecting the identity of voters in the event that a candidate receives a very small number of votes.
Looking more at Open Election Data’s call for granularity down to polling station, I think it relates to this guidance in Patrick Merloe’s 2014 work:
Tally sheets at intermediate and final counting centers record dis- aggregated votes, as well as aggregated results tabulations, are easily verified, publicly posted and provided to representatives of political parties, candidates, groups supporting or opposing refer- enda or other ballot initiatives, domestic nonpartisan election monitors, news media and international election observers; and Tally sheets from intermediate and final counting centers are posted on the Internet and other public places at an early date.
Leading to stating the it should be down to the polling station level:
Do the law and regulations require that a copy of all tally sheets, showing the vote numbers entered from all levels, starting with polling site and including all intermediate levels up to the aggregated totals for each vote tabulation center (i.e., disaggregated results as well as aggregated results) be displayed for public inspection?
However I can’t see in the text any more discussion of this, aside from saying that in general a balance must be reached for competing interests and ‘privacy’ must not eclipse ‘transparency’.
His work, like the Open Election Data from OKF just feel like a shopping list of ideals, with little reasoning and pointing to no evidence to back it up.
I’d love to see some actual research in this area, if someone can point us at it, to provide a lot more examples than alluding to a single anecdote from Denmark.
And I think it makes sense for OKF to rejig their scoring next year, so that publishing lots of data, with an open licence, with bulk download, etc, but just not quite as detailed as desired, leads to some points, rather than none.