A Look Inside Collecting & Updating the Voter Data

If you’ve ever requested or seen a raw data file, you know that it can be overwhelming and confusing. At Kansas Voting Data, we pride ourselves on being able to make civic data easier for everyone to access, utilize, and learn from.

As we recently explained in our “Deeper Look” blog, we receive most of our data from the Kansas Secretary of State’s (SoS) office. This is public data which contains information on the identity, address, and voting history of every registered voter in the state. While we are able to see how an individual voted, we cannot see who they voted for. 

The data and information available on Kansas Voting Data is now current through the 2018 general election. This means, we have over 78 Million rows of voter records dating back to June 2015. 

But wait – it’s almost 2020 – where is the data from the 2019 election! 

While we request and receive data on voter history from the KS SoS, each individual county is primarily responsible for sending and updating their own records. And some counties are able to do this more quickly than others. 

In the most recent data file we received from the KS SoS (in early December), we only received election history on the November 5, 2019 election from 81 of Kansas’ 105 counties. This means nearly a month after the election, 24 counties have yet to update their voting history with the state. 

Delays in reporting updated information can often lead to issues of transparency and accountability – affecting the county or state’s overall civic health. However, many of the counties with missing data are more rural and often lack the resources to meet modern data requirements. In order for Kansas residents to have a true understanding of all the voting, demographic, and civic engagement trends that contribute to their civic health, we need all state and local governments to fully invest in their election offices.