On Wednesday the 15th of March, the Provincial Council, Water Authorities, island council and electoral college elections took place. Open State Foundation once again helped voters on their way to the polls through WaarIsMijnStemlokaal.nl. Using that website, voters could access an interactive map and accesibility filters to determine the most suitable polling booth near them. And that is exactly what happened: the website almost had 900.000 views!
This was the sixth time that Open State Foundation has worked on ‘Waar is mijn stemlokaal’. All polling stations in the Netherlands, approximately 9000 including the polling stations on Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius, could be found on WaarIsMijnStemlokaal.nl. Most visitors were referred through governmental websites, or used an embedded map on said governmental websites, but there were also many visitors via search engines. With 900,000 visitor sessions, the website has seen more traffic than during the Municipal elections of 2022 (500,000), or even during the 2021 parliamentary Tweede Kamer elections (700,000)!
Open Data and Reusability
Open State Foundation makes the collected data from all polling stations public so that it can be reused by politicians, the media, and other actors. Before the elections even took place the data from WaarIsMijnStemlokaal.nl had already been used by the NOS and NU.nl to show that the number of polling stations had decreased, but that a larger percentage of these polling stations were accessible to people with physical disabilities. They also came in handy in answering parliamentary questions to show that the number of suitable polling stations for the visually impaired had increased.
ANP/Localfocus used the open data to create their own polling station cards for (local) news websites, such as Omroep Brabant and AD. Direct embeds on various (government) websites also formed a large part of internet traffic to WaarIsMijnStemlokaal.nl – approximately 200,000 of all views took place by means of embedding.
Cooperation with municipalities
As in the last elections, we called on the municipalities to provide the data for all polling stations. The number of municipalities that provided this data themselves had increased to 86% (297 municipalities), from 81% during last year’s elections. With the help of volunteers and employees of Open State Foundation, the polling stations of the remaining 48 municipalities were manually entered.
This year was also a first for collaboration with a developer of polling station software that is used internally by some municipalities: Partners4IT with their tool ‘Stembureau Manager’ (SBM). Together with Open State Foundation, an API link was developed so that the polling stations of 9 municipalities could automatically be imported into WaarIsMijnStemlokaal.nl following ‘Common Ground‘-standards. The ambition is to create links with all other polling station software, so that for future elections all municipalities can provide their polling station data with as little effort as possible.