IFES

About Election Guide

About ElectionGuide

ElectionGuide is the most comprehensive and timely source of election information available online. It covers national elections around the world, including snap elections and referenda, providing verified information on:  

  • The structure of political institutions and electoral systems 

  • Political parties and candidates 

  • Voter registration deadlines and details 

  • Referendum provisions 

  • Voter turnout, and 

  • Election results. 

ElectionGuide was created in 1998 and has since been maintained by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), an international nonprofit dedicated to building resilient democracies that deliver for all. In 2019 we expanded ElectionGuide, adding additional data points, more frequent data updates, and higher quality verification measures. ElectionGuide now features a modern API to provide developers and researchers access to up to the minute information.  

Initial support from USAID and further support from Meta have made ElectionGuide possible. 

Data Generation Overview 

ElectionGuide is maintained by IFES’ Center for Applied Research and Learning. The team tracks elections globally, gathers data on each election, monitors and analyzes election results, and ensures the consistency and accuracy of ElectionGuide in the period before and after an election. Our methodology relies on well-established data collection standards, objective analysis, and strict verification procedures. 

Elections are identified up to one year in advance. Complete profiles of elections are typically available two weeks before an election is held. Election results and turnout information are available as early as two weeks after an election has been confirmed. The ElectionGuide team provides daily updates to the site as new information on upcoming and recent elections is announced.  

ElectionGuide Verification Process 

IFES takes a multifaceted approach to ensure the accuracy of ElectionGuide data. Wherever possible, each election profile is reviewed and verified by at least one external authority in addition to our experts prior to publication. These external consultations may include:  

  • Country election authorities 

  • Other official government sources, including US-based embassies 

  • Civil society organizations (CSOs) 

  • Inter-governmental organizations (e.g. OSCE, UN) 

Once an election profile is compiled by our team and verified, the profile is made public. As the anticipated election date nears, IFES attempts to substitute all secondary sources with additional primary ones and modifies estimates with official dates; eventually, the election authority is the source of record. Given this ongoing process, ElectionGuide election profiles should be treated as living records.  

To verify election results after an election has been held, ElectionGuide uses data only from official sources (that is, a country election authority, embassy, or other government-affiliated source). In rare cases where information cannot be directly obtained, official results quoted in reputable media sources will be used, when they can be cross verified.  

Three Ways to Access ElectionGuide Data 

ElectionGuide is provided as a public good. We aim to provide accurate, reliable information in multiple formats to meet your needs.  

All of the datapoints are defined and coding strategies further explained in our codebook, including how each variable can be viewed (web, API, or both). The codebook can be accessed here.

Website Open Access  

Information about upcoming and past elections is available on our website organized by election and by country.  

Election profiles are linked from election type names or dates. As each election date approaches, the ElectionGuide research team compiles an election profile. Election profiles are posted approximately two weeks before an election is held. Please note: some past elections are missing complete profiles; it is a priority of our ongoing data collection expansion efforts to retroactively complete all historical election profiles.  

Country profiles can be accessed by clicking on the name or flag of the country across the website. Country profiles maintain a record of past electoral events for that country and include additional information on government institutions and the country’s electoral system. Country profiles and election profiles are updated simultaneously. 

CSV Downloads via a User Portal 

Registered users can download CSV files containing the full dataset for each election, as well as a larger CSV file containing basic datapoints for all elections held since 2018.  

To download CSV data files, you must first create a user account. To create an account, please email ElectionGuide@ifes.org with the subject line “Create User Account”. In the body of your text, please list your name and organization/affiliation. The ElectionGuide team will then provide secure login information.  

API Access  

ElectionGuide’s expanded dataset is also available through our JSON API. For access, please email ElectionGuide@ifes.org with the subject line “Accessing API”. We will then grant you an authentication token to access the API and instructions. 

Contact ElectionGuide Team 

If you have any questions or comments about the site or its contents, please contact ElectionGuide@ifes.org.

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