Anti-Corruption & Transparency
Data Liberation Project I

Making election data accessible

Democratising access to the 2018 parliamentary election data

A few days after the May 6, 2018 parliamentary elections, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) published the results. Initially results were in a PDF format, with very limited information. They lacked a breakdown of participation or voting per district. As an avid analyst with an interest in data and patterns recognition, Ibrahim Jouhari found this very frustrating.

The MOI released the full results a week later. However, these were also published in a static PDF format, grouped by the preliminary counting committees, severely limiting any possible analysis and cross linkage.
Consequently, Ibrahim started working on possible methods to convert and reorganize the data to make it easily accessible, and then cross linking it to gender and sect, to allow a deeper and richer analysis. Starting with his home district Saida as a case study, he went to work.

The process was divided into three phases:

  • First step, converting the static PDFs into machine readable Excel
  • Reorganizing the data by neighborhood
  • Adding the Sect and gender labels of each ballot bureau, by using the MOI data base.

It took him two weeks to finalize the Saida district (one of the smallest in Lebanon), allowing him to use the newly organized data to write a deep analysis of the district’s results, learning about the turnout and voting patterns by gender and sect. Moreover, the data opened up another level of analysis, such as the linkage between women turnout and voting, and the presence of strong women candidates.

However, the amount of time and efforts the first case study took, convinced him that this should be a larger team effort. The Project was launched and he slowly started the conversion and the reorganization of the elections results.

Two months later, the data was finalized, and after a long and assiduous editing and corroborating effort. Consequently, he presented the full results of the Lebanese 2018 parliamentary elections, cross checked with gender and sects, for the general public, students, and experts. 

The results are availed upon request, via a google drive link, by contacting him through this email: