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The Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE) has launched Lebanese Elections Data, the country’s first open data platform that uses open source tools to map elections results. The platform visualizes voter registration and turnout data from 2005 to the most recent voter register of 2014, and the information can be directly downloaded from the platform for any user to review and repurpose. All of the data is sourced from the public domain – originally published by the Ministry of the Interior and Municipalities (MoIM), the Directorate General of Personal Services (DGPS), and www.elections.gov.lb.

Lebanese Elections Data platform

The project, supported by Democracy International (DI), aims to create visualizations that foster evidence-based discussions and data-driven debate on election laws, policies, and reforms. The four initial maps correlate to LADE’s proposed electoral reforms: the voter registration and turnout map with a gender breakdown to advocate for greater women’s quota in parliament; the invalid ballots map to demonstrate the importance of a pre-printed ballot; the discrepancies between electoral districts’ eligible voters and their representation in parliament to encourage a proportional representation system; and a map of registered voters by confession to visualize the changing amount and distribution of each sect since 2005.

Voters by Gender map

For example, the platform’s Voters by Gender map shows that, in more than 75 percent of Lebanon’s electoral districts, more women than men turned out to vote in the 2009 parliamentary elections. In more than half of these districts dominated by women voters, they outnumbered men at the polls by 5 to 10 percent. In 6 of the 26 districts where more men voted than women, it was by an average of only 1.3 percent. This map illustrates that women constitute more than half of the voters in over 75 percent of Lebanon’s 2009 elections, and yet women have 2 percent representation in parliament.

National elections website displays voter registration data using open source mapping software

Within the last two weeks, the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities (MoIM) made great strides in their own efforts to provide better access to election-related information. For the first time, the government’s official elections website offers an interactive map using open source mapping software for the public to explore voter registration totals per district for 2013 and 2014. In addition, users can download the results in an excel file and an infographic of the both registers’ gender breakdown. This is a significant step forward for the MoIM, for Lebanon’s nascent open data movement, and citizens’ access to critical election-related information.

The election data platform’s first four maps will be followed by visualizations of Lebanon’s next parliamentary elections, and possibly maps of proposed changes to Lebanon’s electoral law. Read more about LADE’s June 12th launch of the platform, and about Lebanon’s new open data movement for elections results.