One reason I haven’t had as much time to post as I would have liked lately is that I’ve been focused on putting together a new database for my Election Passport website containing results for 184 Senate elections held in 25 countries, including all U.S. Senate elections since 1998.
The online database is arranged by constituency (e.g. the states in the United States) and has results from countries as diverse as Argentina, Belgium, Burma, Poland, and Zimbabwe. The data are free and open to researchers who may be able to study elections by incumbency, gender and ethnicity. It could also help assess vote manipulation in less-free countries.
My book, entitled Minority Rules: Electoral Systems, Decentralization and Ethnoregional Parties Success, and a series of articles written for the Journal of Politics and the British Journal of Political Science spurred the creation of the online database. It took my team more than a year to gather, translate, and consolidate election results for use by anyone fascinated by the world of politics.
Latin American countries, such as Brazil, Chile, and the Dominican Republic, figure prominently in the database because so many of them, like the U.S., have directly elected Senates. I am grateful to the Center for Latin American and Latino/a Studies and the School of Public Affairs at American University for helping to support this project.
In the future, I plan to expand the database, updating it with more countries and additional years of results as they become available. Among the 30 countries that have held Senate elections since 1990, all but five are already included in the database.
Beyond Senate elections, Election Passport contains lower house election results from over 100 countries as well as information as how electoral systems operate in selected countries. Additionally, there are a welter of documents from countries that have never been digitized or publicly available previously, such as redistricting plans in Botswana and Lesotho.