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Chicago Elections Project

posted on 2021-02-23, 21:43 authored by LaDale Winling, Richard Anderson, Emily Bianchi, Jasmine Castillo-Alvarado, Kelly Cooper, Sydney Vaile, Rebecca Williams, Sarah Tucker, L.T. Wilkerson, Nicholas Bolin
The Chicago Elections Project is a digital history collaboration working to expand access and provide interpretation on the electoral and political history of the city. The Chicago Elections Project is a large-scale digitization and visualization project that will allow the public, journalists, and researchers to understand the political history of the city in new ways. It will enable the telling of stories about the neighborhood and city-wide electoral contests that shaped public policy in Chicago and Illinois over more than a century. For more information, visit the Chicago Elections Project website: The data in the Chicago Elections Project was created by the Chicago Board of Elections in the course of administering the city’s elections. The collection presented here seeks to make the digitized archival materials and data visualizations accessible for further and future public research. These materials include images of the city’s ledgers which contain tabulated election results (.jpg files); the project’s excel spreadsheets that transcribe election results from the city’s ledgers (.xlxs files); images of the Chicago Board of Elections’ ward and precinct maps (.jpg files); and digital map materials created from these images (shapefile bundles). The files are organized first by year and then election type; see the ReadMe file for a detailed outline and description of files included in the data collection. Since 1923, there have been 50 wards in the City of Chicago. Each ward consists of a variety of precincts. From 1889 to 1923, there were 35 wards. Municipal elections featuring the contest for mayor are generally held every four years in April of years preceding Presidential elections, eg 1923, 1927, 1931 etc. These are preceded by February primaries. Even numbered years feature federal Congressional elections and State Senate and State House elections in November, eg 1990, 1992, etc. These are preceded by primaries in the spring.


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