The Governance Project - FAQs

What is the Governance Project?

The Governance Project is our effort to create a nationwide dataset of federal, state, and local elected officials.

What is the scope of the Governance Project dataset?

Our dataset has information about elected officials from the federal down to the county level. This includes information on all legislators as well as constitutional government officials. Our coverage of judicial, school board, and special district offices varies dependent on the information’s availability in a given jurisdiction. In addition, our dataset includes elected officials from most major US cities. 

What information about elected officials is available?

In addition to basic information such as officials’ names, the offices they hold, and their party affiliation, the Governance Project collects contact information (phone numbers, mailing addresses, and emails) and information about the office’s online presence (websites, Facebook pages, etc.).

How is Governance Project data tied to political geography?

The Governance Project uses Open Civic Data Identifiers to tie officeholders and offices to the districts that they serve. This allows the Governance Project to provide, given a user’s address, only relevant information about the elected officials that represent the specific user and helps us ensure our data can be easily integrated with other civic datasets.

What’s the best way to access Governance Project data?

The best way to access the Governance Project dataset is through the Google Civic Information API. For information about obtaining raw data in flatfile or JSON formats, contact data@techandciviclife.org.

How is information about elected officials kept current?

The Governance Project dataset is updated on a bi-weekly basis to reflect the most up to date information available. While the ever-changing nature of elected official data is such that we cannot always update information in real-time, we employ several methods to ensure the accuracy of our elected official data. These systems methods include:

  • A suite of custom-built alerts that inform us when elected officials are removed, appointed, or elected

  • A suite of web scrapers that alert us when changes are made to government websites that list elected officials

  • Quarterly hand audits to ensure quality control for each state’s elected officials as well as period full data refreshes after major elections and as necessary.

How can I help keep Governance Project data up to date?

If you notice that something is inaccurate, incomplete, or missing from the governance project dataset, please contact data@techandciviclife.org.

I have a question that isn’t listed here.

For answers to any other questions, access to documentation and data samples, or directions to the best Thai restaurant in Las Vegas please contact data@techandciviclife.org.

 

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