Michigan Elections Database

January 15, 2008

With Michigan’s primary right around the corner, the Department of History, Arts and Libraries today announced the availability of Michigan’s Precinct Results Databases online at www.michiganelections.org. The Precinct Results Databases – used to certify and distribute the official results of each election – were created by the Michigan Bureau of Elections, Department of State, and recently transferred to the Archives of Michigan for permanent preservation.

“The preservation of Michigan’s history and the assurance that there will be an accurate, accessible record of the political process is a tremendous responsibility and a great gift to current and future generations,” said HAL Director William Anderson. “As Michigan gets into the full swing of this election year, interest in information like this will certainly climb.”

The Archives of Michigan (in collaboration with the San Diego Supercomputer Center) converted the data from its original format into a search engine for public access. This work was conducted as part of the Persistent Archives Testbed (PAT) Project that was funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The PAT project was a multi-state initiative to investigate new and effective methods of preserving electronic data as the original technology becomes obsolete.

State Archivist Mark Harvey said that data for 1992 through 2004 is available online and can be searched by year, county, office, city and township. In addition, he noted that GIS maps (showing color-coded counties according to party majority) were developed for statewide offices to represent voting trends. Data for 1970 through 1990 is not searchable, because the metadata needed to translate the data codes has been lost over time. However, the data can be downloaded by researchers who are interested in trying to interpret the data themselves. Additional information about this data and the PAT Project is available at http://www.sdsc.edu/PAT.

“This is a valuable research tool for anyone with an interest in Michigan elections,” said Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. “I’m grateful to the Department of History, Arts and Libraries for its work to make this important data accessible to the public through the convenience of the Internet.”

The Archives of Michigan is part of the Michigan Historical Center, an agency within the Department of History, Arts and Libraries. HAL is dedicated to strengthening the economy and enriching the quality of life for Michigan residents by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan’s heritage and fostering cultural creativity. The department also includes the Library of Michigan, the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Film Office.

Written by Casey Kremers, HAL Communications Office, 1/14/07