#PHVote website for the 2016 Philippine elections

#PHVote website for the 2016 Philippine elections

Organisation: Rappler (Philippines)

Publication Date: 04/06/2017


Size of team/newsroom:large


The #PHVote 2016 website is a data-driven portal for the 2016 national and local elections in the Philippines. During election day and days after the elections, it rendered real-time updates to the election results for 18,083 electoral contest in all levels – from president to town councilor. The data comes from the Transparency Server of the automated election system of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and is based on results coming from over 80,000 election results counting machines positioned all over the country. It’s backend summarized over 9 million rows of data in the first 2 hours of the count, and over 16 million rows before midnight of election day, May 9. To allow journalists and bloggers to use the data visualizations in the results pages in their reporting on the elections, the pages were designed to work like interactive cards which could be embedded on stories and blogs. Each embeddable card had graphs showing progress of the transmission and tabulation of election results for each area. Each card is individually shareable on social media. For example, the embeddable cards were used in the following stories: http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections/2016/132500-tight-vice-presidential-results-bongbong-marcos-leni-robredo http://www.rappler.com/entertainment/news/132595-vilma-santos-proclaimed-batangas-representative To track whether the bailiwicks delivered, a real-time map shows which candidates or parties are dominating the national electoral contests (President, Vice-President, Senators and party list) in each province. The map also showed the status of the count for each area.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

The #PHVote website is part of Rappler's #PHVote platform that covers the entire election process, from helping voters choose candidates to providing information about national issues. As said earlier, the results in any election contest can be embedded in any article and shared on social media. Results in all races can also be accessed via API calls. The data had also been scraped by some experts and online users and were used as basis for their investigations into cheating allegations in the automated polls. Some of these articles are the following: https://www.facebook.com/notes/rouelli-sabino/election-2016-datasets/10154877331879966?hc_location=ufi https://stories.thinkingmachin.es/election2016/

Technologies used for this project:

We used Javascript (nodejs) for the visualizations. Therefore, the data is updated in real-time as soon as the latest batch of election results are transmitted. The data transmissions from the different areas of the Philippines to the Comelec servers in Manila were done in 10-minute intervals (and later in 20-minute and 30-minute intervals as the transmission status neared 100%). Upon receipt of a data transmission, a Python script quickly converted it into files that will be used for the #PHVote website.
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