Live assembly election results maps
Organisation: Hindustan Times (India)
Publication Date: 04/10/2017
Size of team/newsroom:large
DescriptionWe streamed live election results for five state assembly elections from the Election Commission of India to a web dashboard so our readers could see the results as they were counted throughout the day. We then combined the results data with information from each candidate's affidavit, so we could produce real-time analysis of the results. This included the proportion of successful candidates that were men, the number of criminal cases the winners faced, a breakdown of their net assets, and their educational attainment. We also created real-time maps showing the coalition-wise results, trends in voter turnout, trends in victory margin, and a comparison with the previous election in 2012, to track patterns of anti-incumbency. While the dashboard itself let us discover interesting insights like never before, there is only so much a human can see. So, we also built a Twitter bot that shared interesting updates as they happened. For instance, it tweeted out close margins, wide margins, if the winning candidate was the richest or poorest in the state or constituency, if the winning candidate had the most number of pending criminal cases among his/her competitors, and so on.
What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?Firstly, this was the first ever time an Indian newsroom had provided real-time analysis of the winning candidates' personal information. As we scraped the election commission's website, we merged the vote counts with each candidate with information about that candidate gleaned from the candidate's affidavit, filed with the election commission. This helped us show, for example, how many candidates with criminal records were winning their seats, or how few women were winning. Second, this was the most user-friendly election dashboard ever produced by an Indian newsroom. The maps were rendered with D3.js and TopoJSON, which allowed them to load very quickly, even on mobile devices over poor connections (which is how many of our readers access our site). We also had helpful tables showing vote margins and other useful data, so our readers could really dig in and discover interesting stories as they were developing.
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