Voter Turnout in RI by RI Department of State | Office of Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea

Voter Turnout in RI is a datastory that allows the public to take an easy-to-use deep dive into data describing the where, who, and how of turnout in recent RI elections. Using a combination of ESRI's ArcGIS maps and PowerBI dashboards the story is delivered in an ESRI StoryMap.

The Rhode Island Department of State's (RIDOS) mission is to engage and empower all Rhode Islanders by making government more accessible and transparent, encouraging civic pride, enhancing commerce and ensuring that elections are fair, fast and accurate. As the RIDOS Senior Data Analyst, one of my roles is to democratize government data to enable more transparency and accessibility to information. I take this role seriously and so it's imperative to shine a light on information that's been previously languishing in our filing cabinets with stories untold. It's also important to take a non-partisan approach when presenting RIDOS data, especially voter turnout. This datastory is part of a suite of data tools for the RIDOS Elections team.

The process included creating a method to find the denominator of who was registered and eligible to vote at the time of the election, which had not been done before by the office at this granular level of detail. The dashboards and maps allow for drill down to the voting precinct level - the polling place level.

The decision to use PowerBI rather than the ESRI dashboard was due to the more stable and user-friendly function of PBI. ESRI dashboards do not have all of my desired functionality when building dashboards that will be used by the public.

This datastory was first published on in March of 2020 and is updated for each state election. To date is has over 13,000 views and has been used in new stories and political science articles. I'm proud that we receive consistent positive feedback from those who find and play with the data.