DINAcon Awards Nominee

Echtzeitdaten Abstimmungs- und Wahlergebnisse im OGD-Portal (unofficial name)

Project Start: 21. Februar 2018

Project Category: #3 Best Practice

Bundesamt für Statistik, Sektion Politik, Kultur, Medien / Federal Statistical Office, Politics, Culture and Media Sections


The official provisional results of Swiss referenda (on a municipal level) are being collected at the source – the cantons – and transferred via a secure data exchange tool (sedex) to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) where they are automatically treated, controlled and published almost real-time via the opendata.swiss-portal. The data are in an easy to reuse format (JSON) and accompanied by the relevant metadata in several national languages (i.e. title and type of the referendum as well as a short explication of the vote at hand). The data are published on vote Sundays from noon and available to everybody at the same time.

The data is used in numerous applications developed by others. Among them are the mobile app “VoteInfo” by the Swiss Federal Chancellery/Statistical Office of the canton of Zurich/FSO, the Political Atlas of Switzerland (FSO) and by several media outlets for their coverage of referenda and elections (TA-Media, Keystone-sda). Furthermore, the political-science-community has produced several R-scripts based on the data. For the federal elections 2019 a similar offer is being set up. This part will go live on 20th October. In the meantime, testing data are available via opendata.swiss.

Project Business Case

The project aims at making freely available information on official provisional vote and election results for Switzerland as a whole, i.e. taking together the results of the municipalities/cantons which produce them and presenting them in a harmonised uniform way. Furthermore, the data have to be reliable and reusable as well as accompanied by the relevant metadata, helping to advance transparence. Users therefore don't have to resort to their own costly and time-consuming and potentially less reliable data collection thus advancing the efficiency. The need expressed by various partners and customers (government bodies, media outlets and the opendata and science community) that vote results should be made available ever faster, i.e. if possible "real-time", and in an easy to use format such as JSON has driven the project. Based on the Open-government strategy of the Federal Council, this service is provided free of charge under the licence agreement stated above. The reuse of the data then contributes to further disseminate the results via various applications.

Project Importance

The project helps to make available crucial information on the democratic process as observed in national elections and federal and cantonal referenda in a timely manner. For Switzerland, regular referenda are an important part of the political system and help shaping the political culture. It is therefore extremely important to have reliable results coming from a trustworthy source, available to everybody.

Project Impact

Several users and applications (as mentioned in the abstract) would have to discontinue their developed mobile or web applications or resort to collecting the data themselves (costly and time-consuming and probably less reliable).

Project Facts

License: Other

License Description: See: https://opendata.swiss/en/terms-of-use/
«Freie Nutzung. Quellenangabe ist Pflicht. Kommerzielle Nutzung nur mit Bewilligung des Datenlieferanten zulässig.»

Maturity: The project is live and we have some users

Number of Contributors: 6