Election Markup Language (EML)ElectionsElection ResultsHardware
OASIS Election and Voter Services Technical Committee
| Version: 7
The standard supports the end to end process of the election system. The intent of the standard is to 'develop a standard for the structured interchange among hardware, software, and service providers who engage in any aspect of providing election or voter services to public or private organizations...' ( This is a much more comprehensive schema than the other election data standards observed in this list. In addition, this standard engages in high level election processes
  • License: OASIS Open 2011
  • About the Publisher: OASIS Election and Voter Services Technical Committee is committed to the technical development, refinement and formalization of election standard documents. *Technical Committee was closed in July of 2015 by the OASIS TC Administrator
  • Updated by Publisher: 2011-10-27
  • Level of Use: Ohio, USA, used the standard in their 2014 elections
  • Open License: Yes
  • Transferable to other Jurisdictions: The standard requires a common terminology and definition of election processes so it can be understood and applied across national boundaries. Standard claims to be multilingual, multinational, flexible, adaptable, and technology agnostic, making it easier to adopt across a wide array of jurisdictions
  • Stakeholder Participation: The standard is managed by members of the OASIS Technical Committee. In order to contribute to the standards development, there is a public mail list that acts as a forum for developers to contribute and exchange ideas and advice about the standard's implementation. An individual must subscribe to comment list to provide feedback.
  • Consensus-based Governance: According to Ron Rivest, EML is a 'consensus-based, publicly available common format that enables the exchange of electronic records between different components in election systems'
  • Extensions: The standard extends so not to change the election process. Implementers of the standard plan on providing a complementary document for a specific election scenario that clarifies security issues raised in the election process
  • Machine Readable: EML is a XML based standard. The structure of the schema consists of vocabulary (the EML core) and individual message schemas
  • Human Readable: EML uses attribute IDs and standard election vocabulary
  • Requires Real-Time Data: Standard requires data from various stages of the election process life cycle
  • Metadata: Standard allows for optional information to be included in the header. Some XML messages require the managing authority and date of issue
Added to directory: 2017-07-09
Voting Information Project (VIP) SpecificationElectionsVoter Precincts
Pew Charitable Trusts, Google, US State Governments
| Version: 5.1
Specification indicates voter precincts. The intent is for information disseminators to utilize the schema to provide all citizens with the information they need to cast a ballot
  • License: Creative Commons-Attribution license, version 4.0
  • About the Publisher: The Pew Charitable Trusts is a non-profit, non-governmental organization. Google is a private technology based company
  • Updated by Publisher: 2017-06-30
  • Level of Use: Only in the USA
  • Open License: Yes
  • Transferable to other Jurisdictions: Easy to adopt for state and local elections in the USA. Simple formats (CSV and XML) increase adoption across jurisdictions
  • Stakeholder Participation: Government workers at the state level contribute to the publication of the VIP spec. The diversity of stakeholders encourages an inclusive open standard process
  • Consensus-based Governance: The project also has a mailing list for inquiries. Also can contribute to the VIP Community Google Group. Google forum is meant to 'foster a collaborative environment'.!forum/vip-community
  • Extensions: TrusttheVote Project is working on making the standard include contest and question data, location data, result for each location and contest combination, performance and participation data
  • Machine Readable: XML and CSV format. Required top level tags include source object and election results object. These top level tags require an id attribute in order to uniquely identify them within the data file
  • Human Readable: According to the standard's specification, the VIP feed should be named vipFeed-[FIPS code for state or county]-[election year]-[election month]-[election day].xml
  • Requires Real-Time Data: No indication of when standard should be updated following an election
  • Metadata: Have metadata for political party. Otherwise not for metadata in standard's specification
Added to directory: 2017-07-09
RepresentElectionsVoter Precincts
| Version: No information
Represent is an open database of elected officials and districts in Canada. Open North provides a template to be filled out and uploaded on municipal websites. Open North has an API for finding representatives and districts by geographic location.
  • License: MIT License
  • About the Publisher: Open North is a non-profit that works to improve transparency through open data in Canadian government
  • Updated by Publisher: 2017-07-20
  • Level of Use: Used by many municipalities across Canada
  • Open License: Yes
  • Transferable to other Jurisdictions: The fields in the template correspond only to Canadian electoral districts and positions
  • Stakeholder Participation: Template and API created solely by Open North
  • Consensus-based Governance: All of Open North's projects are on GitHub, although contribution appears to be solely internal
  • Extensions: Template has optional fields as well as tolerance for additional fields (such as Personal Website)
  • Machine Readable: CSV or .xls spreadsheets are machine readable
  • Human Readable: Spreadsheets are downloadable and viewable in Excel or similar program
  • Requires Real-Time Data: No information
  • Metadata: No information
Added to directory: 2017-06-15
Election ResultsElectionsElection Results
Local Government Association (LGA)
| Version: 1.02
A standard for publishing local results of English elections, including Parish, District/Borough, County, and Parliamentary elections and by-elections. Mayoral and European Parliament elections are not supported in the current version of the schema.
  • License: Data providers are encouraged to publish under the Open Government Licence. While the LGA maintains a copyright to the documentation, the standard does not appear to be licensed
  • About the Publisher: The Local Government Association represents the interests of English and Welsh municipal councils in national government. The LGA also promotes communication between local government authorities and develops best practices. LGA standards have been developed in response to the UK's Local Government Transparency Code, which encourages the publication of government data in standardized machine-readable formats.
  • Updated by Publisher: 2017-08-07
  • Level of Use: 373 District and County Councils are members of the LGA
  • Open License: Yes
  • Transferable to other Jurisdictions: Designed for local elections in England and Wales. Likely transferable
  • Stakeholder Participation: The Local Government Association consists of local government officials who collaborate to develop best practices for local authorities, the would-be stakeholders.
  • Consensus-based Governance: Although schemas and documentation are held on GitHub, changes can only be decided by the LGA
  • Extensions: The schema contains many optional fields, but additional fields are not supported. The LGA plans on extending the schema to include more election-data fields
  • Machine Readable: CSV format required
  • Human Readable: CSV template has readable headers
  • Requires Real-Time Data: Election results are only published after elections
  • Metadata: No information
Added to directory: 2017-08-17
Results Data Spec Version 2ElectionsElection Results
| Version: 2
Specification standardizes US election data at the state level
  • License: No information
  • About the Publisher: OpenElection's objective is to make a standardized, comprehensive, and linked set of election data in the USA at both the federal and state levels. OpenElection is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Knight News Challenge
  • Updated by Publisher: 2013-05-29
  • Level of Use: Oregon, USA
  • Open License: Yes
  • Transferable to other Jurisdictions: Standard is limited to the USA at the state and county levels currently
  • Stakeholder Participation: OpenElections is the sole authority of the standard's development. Publishers accept source code and official results contributions from volunteers from the public
  • Consensus-based Governance: The specification utilizes Google Groups to discuss the development of the specification. It also hosts an issue tracker on GitHub
  • Extensions: No information
  • Machine Readable: Standard supports JSON and CSV formats. Specification's content is broken up into election data and election results
  • Human Readable: Standard has field identifiers
  • Requires Real-Time Data: OpenElections does not have the infrastructure or funding to handle real time data for election results
  • Metadata: OpenElections is working on an Metadata API to compliment the specification.
Added to directory: 2017-07-09
NIST Election Results Common Data FormatElectionsElection ResultsHardware
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
| Version: 1
The standard establishes a XML schema for the export and import of data from and to election process devices. The standard establishes a comprehensive UML model to map out and define the components of the general election process
  • License: No information
  • About the Publisher: NIST aims to promote standards, measurement science, and technology in a way that will boost society's quality of life and encourage economic competition and innovation
  • Updated by Publisher: 2016-02-01
  • Level of Use: No information
  • Open License: Yes
  • Transferable to other Jurisdictions: No information
  • Stakeholder Participation: No information
  • Consensus-based Governance: The standard hosts an issue tracker on GitHub
  • Extensions: No information
  • Machine Readable: XML - based import/export format for election devices that handles the data. Schema is organized by elements and their attributes of the election process. Sub-elements refer to elements that are nested within other elements. Schema is in XSD format
  • Human Readable: The standard uses object identifiers and links elements within the electoral system. Standard also includes a glossary to ensure compliance and uniformity during implementation
  • Requires Real-Time Data: No information
  • Metadata: No information
Added to directory: 2017-07-09
Election Data FormatElectionsElection Results
Open Data Institute
| Version: No information
Specification utilized for elections at various levels (local, provincial, federal). It has four main tabular formats: contests, choices, results, and voting data. Contests documents metadata
  • License: Open source under the MIT license and content is open under the Creative Commons Attribution license
  • About the Publisher: Open Data Institute is a private non profit company that is committed to spreading and developing open data technologies and services
  • Updated by Publisher: 2014-12-04
  • Level of Use: Standard specifies that the standard model should support aggregation of data and have flexibility to compensate for regional differences in election processes. Customization of the data allows for a great scope of the standard's adoption
  • Open License: Yes
  • Transferable to other Jurisdictions: Specification is meant to be general enough to cover broad aspects of elections (so that it can be applied across jurisdictions). Standard focuses on the transparency of electoral process (rather than commitment to the automation of election results)
  • Stakeholder Participation: Standard specifies that election data must come from a primary, authoritative source
  • Consensus-based Governance: The standard is posted to GitHub. Anyone can contribute feedback to the issue tracker
  • Extensions: Future extensions to the standard include geographic information about polling stations, a controlled vocabularies specification, and metadata about political parties and politicians
  • Machine Readable: Information stored in election data tables. Tabular format is meant to link to the graph based format. This format expresses statistical data and reference data (including geographic and vocabulary references). Model utilizes RDF Data Cube schema. Some fields in the files have controlled vocabularies
  • Human Readable: Vocabulary for the specification is based on definitions specified from the ACE project
  • Requires Real-Time Data: The standard requires that the data is made available on a timely basis, e.g. updated immediately after the election results are announced
  • Metadata: According to the standard's documentation, 'metadata made available and the formats provided are outside the scope of this specification'
Added to directory: 2017-07-09