U.S. Election day is here! Immense amounts of work have led up to the decisions that get made today. Aside from campaigning, hard work has gone into creating and distributing ballots, registering voters, setting up polling locations, unofficial polls that provide outcome estimates, analysis of the issues, and much more. The media will be in a frenzy, and there will be a ton of electoral maps. With all this activity going on, there are infographics to cover every aspect of the election as well. Here are 14 of them.
1. Much of the work that goes into election day itself is for the polling locations. The logistics of voting are important, and setting all of it up takes time.
2. Voter Registration is also important. After all, people move, teenagers grow old enough to vote, and immigrants become citizens.
3. Running for president is a major undertaking. To put it mildly, lots of money and work goes into a presidential campaign.
4. Swing states are important due to the electoral system. They become the states that decide the election, so voter turnout in those states is very important. This makes weather in swing states a critical component.
5. Guessing how swing states will vote is also a popular activity. Social media provides one way to make predictions.
6. There are lots of other ways to visualize this social media data, and 2012 US Presidential Elections makes a beautiful globe covered in bars measuring mentions.
7. Maps and line graphs are also great ways to show social data about elections. Evaluating the election with social insights uses just these methods.
8. Search traffic also can be a good way to gain insight about a candidate’s chances of winning. The candidate scorecard shows some of this data.
10. Financial issues are also important to voters, so some analysts use voters’ wallets as a dowsing rod.
11. Predictions are all well and good, but it’s also important to know who you are voting for. Visually can’t recommend that you use infographics as your sole source of information, but they certainly can help you make your decision. Where the candidates stand on the issues is one of the most important parts of the decision.
12. One other issue is intellectual property.
13. It is also important to remember that the Presidential election is not the only thing being voted on today. There are also local offices up for grabs, local issues and laws being voted on, and Congressional elections. The United States Congress by XKCD shows the history of Congress.
14. No matter what happens, a decision on who will be President will be finalized in the next few days. To keep an eye on the decision with a cheery view, Is Barack Obama President? uses balloons to show the likely outcome, and is updated fairly frequently.
No matter your political alignment, Visually encourages you to educate yourself on all the candidates and issues in your area, and go Vote!
Drew Skau, who mailed in his absentee ballot days ago, is a Visualization Architect at Visual.ly and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on twitter @SeeingStructure