Entry for elections / jp


This is a discussion about the submission for elections / jp.

I have a question about an evaluation item “Data available at polling station level”.

We Japanese government could not collect/count votes by polling station level.
(They must be collected from each polling stations to central count station set in each municipalities. It is defined by the reason to keep the secret of vote. Defined by JP Law.)

On the other hands, JP Government has been publishing the data counted in each municipality, means minimum set they could share.

The data is published in Excel format format, under Japanese Government Default Term of Use (It defines Open statement of data).

Anyone has idea?


You’re in a similar position to the UK - it is a legal requirement that polling station votes are not counted separately (they are mixed in to the entire constituency) and therefore it would not be possible to publish such data without breaking the UK’s own laws.

To me it seems harsh that the fact that is that the methodological constraints results in a 0% score when there are positive efforts made to publish open data as far as is legally possible (i.e. to the relevant municipality’s level), rather than being able to account for the degree of openness that actually exists.


Same situation in Belgium


Hi @nyampire, @BobHarper1, @barthanssens

I would like to refer you to this thread where we want to gather all feedback concerning our datasets. The question basically boils down as to whether we consider data at polling station level as an optional requirement (and not as a mandatory one, as it is been done at the moment). See also an old discussion thread here.

The tenet seems to be that in many countries there are privacy concerns as well as technical mechanisms obfuscating votes on polling station level.

As outlined in our methodological notes, GODI wants to balance feasibility to produce data, with actual usability of fine-grained data. The experience so far shows us that there is a case to make that polling station level data should be provided optionally.


Thank you for comments. @dannylammerhirt @BobHarper1 @barthanssens

I understood and agreed with this approach.
Although the more detailed data could lead more transparency, but privacy matters should be concerned with.


Just a comment from me -

We are aware that not all countries are counting on poll stations level,
however, giving the reason of privacy is really not valid. If a small
country like Israel (8 million people) can count poll stations level data,
others can too.

Notice the corruption in election happen because the data is not counted at
the place where the poll is and allow to have changes in the travel time it
is going to the county counting poll.

I think that as data activist we should remember that even elections data
is not a holy cow, even if there are laws about them. It is even more
important for us to evaluate this so we can truly understand where it is
done and really try to understand what the reasons behind it.

I am actually a bit disappointed that no one here is actually ponder and
investigate why governments don’t count on that level and how old are their


Hmz, I respectfully disagree.

At least in Belgium there are procedures and checks in place to prevent messing around with the casted votes. Maybe other countries are more susceptible to this kind of fraud, I don’t know, so pointers to examples where e.g. votes were changed when transported between polling and counting station would be appreciated.

There are many ways to rig an election, including threatening / bribing the people who count the votes whether they are located in the polling or another station, “accidentally” voiding votes when counting, not counting votes in the presence of independent witnesses, intimidating people before / when they vote, preventing people to vote at all … All of which could lead to a 100% open score on the GODI.

In terms of old, yes, the process might be a bit dated, but let’s take it to the other extreme: what if elections were entirely online, using an electronic ID card for each voter (I think voters in Estonia have the possibility to cast votes this way). What would be the acceptable “polling station” ? The municipality level ?