On the night of the Illinois primary I plan to have live election night returns for the Illinois Gubernatorial Republican Primary. While you can get live statewide totals at almost any Illinois news site (and some even give you county by county totals) I plan to have live data that shows real time totals for the statewide vote broken out by county, by media market and by region (both traditional and expanded collars) and showing vote share. Right next to the live results you’ll be able to scroll through all of the historical results for Republican primaries going back years or even decades. I spent the weekend building the dashboard display for this and I’m happy with how it turned out.
Most major news organizations subscribe to the AP election package and they get live data from the AP on election night, that is how they are able to display the election results. I have tried to pay the AP for this data and they refuse to let me subscribe because this isn’t a “news organization”. So while I’d really like to have complete access to live data on every race in the state and be able to display it in a way that is helpful and useful to the people who like or need to see results in great detail for this election we still have to do it by hand and so we can only do this one race for now.
This effort is more likely to crash this website than to work and be cool but we are going to try it anyway. I have bribed a group of friends with pizza and beer to lookup the live election results for the Republican Gubernatorial primary from all 110 election authorities. I have created a big spreadsheet that a group of about 10-12 friends will be entering data into and it is set up to run a bunch of calculations and display all the data the way I like to see it. If it works it should be interesting and a lot of fun, but most likely the hosting company will be down that day or the website will crash though. Either way I just hope it works well enough to encourage the big news organizations in Illinois to take a look at how they display election night results and see what they could be doing better.