Metadata Field List

To help with the process of identifying and entering Metadata, we have created this abbreviated data entry guide for our volunteers. These are the data points we will need you to identify on state board of elections web sites, and enter into the admin.

You can also find a more detailed description of the entry process in the post ‘Getting Involved – The Nitty Gritty‘.


  • Name State – Name
  • Metadata Status – (not started, partial or up-to-date)
  • Overview Field – For describing anything of note about the state data gathering process, including notes on conversation with state election board staff. You can also refer to our Initial Interview Cheat Sheet for suggested questions to ask state elections board officials.


Data Source

  • Organization — Name and contact info for state elections entity
  • Portal Link — Link to the entity’s main page for elections results or search area
  • Direct Link — Link to results file
  • Results Type — (certified of unofficial)
  • Format(s) — Downloadable or available formats (e.g. pdf, xls, csv, html)

Election Metadata

  • Start and end date – (usually same)
  • Race type — (Primary, General, Recall, Runoff)
  • Special – (yes or no)
  • Primary type – (Closed, Open, Blanket, Semi-Closed, Semi-Open, Other)
  • Primary Note – Required if primary type = Other (use to explain edge cases, such as when different parties have different voter eligibility rules)
  • Absentee and Provisional – Do result files include vote counts for these types? (yes or no)

Offices Covered

  • President – (yes or no)
  • US Senate – (yes or no)
  • US House – (yes or no)
  • Governor — (yes or no)
  • State Officers — (e.g. Attorney General, Secretary of State) (yes or no)
  • State Legislators — (e.g. State Senators or Assembly members) (yes or no)

Results Breakdown

  • Race-wide — Top-level tabulation (basically, the total vote count for races)
  • County — When results are tabulated by county
  • Precinct — When results are tabulated by precinct
  • Congressional District — When presidential or statewide offices are tabulated by Congressional district
  • State legislative — When presidential or state offices are tabulated by state legislative district
  • Note — Any notes on how the results are broken down (or other breakdowns)


  • Note — Notes on any quirks in the data
  • Needs review — Notes on any possible problems with results that should be investigated.