California voters are presented with several ballot initiatives each election year. These propositions are an important way for Californians to shape the future of our state.
But, many voters say there are too many of them and that they’re too complicated and confusing to understand. Voters also often worry about their ability to make an informed decision. The UC Davis DataLab runs Election Data Challenges to leverage public data to help us understand each election’s ballot initiatives, grow our data science community, and encourage participation in the civic process.
For the CA 2022 Election Data Challenge, participants working in teams of two or more will select one of the November 8th, 2022 California ballot initiatives and, using at least one publicly available dataset, create a project culminating data visualizations that explore or analyze an aspect of the issue. Multiple teams can choose to work on the same ballot initiative, but each team must have their own unique research question and project.
The 2022 Challenge builds upon DataLab’s “PropFest 2018” and “CA 2020 Election Data Challenge,” where successful projects included pursuits that:
- Analyzed potential impacts of a proposed initiative on specific regions, sectors, and/or populations;
- Tracked and summarized the historical development of a proposition, including its supporters and opponents;
- Uncovered trends in public response to the issue; and
- Fact-checked rhetoric or claims on both sides of the debate.
To learn more about prior Election Data Challenges, click here.
DataLab provides support in helping match participants into teams and get started on their projects. We also host weekly open work sessions, technical office hours, and mentor Q&A sessions (see detailed Timeline, below). By October 24th all competing teams will upload a short (< 10 minute) video presentation of their project and data visualization(s) (along with the link to the project’s public GitHub repository that includes a readME and brief report) to a Virtual Showcase which will run asynchronously on Slack from October 25th-26th. All teams are encouraged to submit their project (even if unfinished), review each other’s visualizations, and offer helpful, supportive, and constructive comments and questions. By observing the progress of the other teams, participants not only grow their network and skill set, but also gain insights to help improve their final project. And remember, the most collegial individuals also win a prize!
Judges from DataLab and across the University will review all submissions. Selected finalists will receive additional mentorship and win up to $500 as well as the opportunity to present their project to the broader campus community at an online public Symposia on Monday, November 7th (5-7pm).