Each redistricting dataset merges the electoral data the SWDB collected and processed over the preceding decade with the most current census data (PL94-171). The result is a census block level dataset that allows for longitudinal analysis of electoral data over time on the same unit of analysis. Electoral data consist of the Statements of Vote (SOV) and Statements of Registration (SOR) for each statewide election. These data are collected from the Registrars of Voters for each of the 58 California counties with each election.
The SWDB collects the Statement of Vote and the Statement of Registration along with various geography files from each of the 58 counties for every statewide election. The Statement of Vote is a precinct level dataset and precincts in California change frequently between elections. The goal of the SWDB is to make election data available that can be compared over time, on the same unit of analysis – a precinct, a census block or a census tract.
From the California Election Precinct Data pages you can download precinct data for California statewide elections back to the 2000 Primary Election. Precinct data for elections from 1992 - 2000 can be located by searching our archive.
There are two types of precinct data: Statement of Vote or the SOV data and Statement of Registration data, or the SOR data.
SOV or Statement of Vote data files contain precinct level voting results for California's statewide and district (Assembly, Congressional, Senate, Board of Equalization) races.
The SOV files are available by two precinct types: the sv precinct and the sr precinct (formerly the ss precinct).
The SOV data codebooks are county and election specific as the district races and candidates who ran in those races will vary by county and election whereas the SOR files contain the same variables for every county and election.
To use the SOV codebook to determine the candidates that were on a ballot in a given precinct, retrieve the district number from the table/ file for that precinct record. The Assembly, Congressional and Senate district that each precinct is located in are listed in the columns ADDIST, CDDIST and SDDIST in the SOV data files.
For instance, the 2012 Primary, Sonoma County svprec 1001 is located in the 5th Congressional district according to the file which means that cngdem01 corresponds to Mike Thompson for that record while the 2012 Primary, Sonoma County svprec 1048 is located in the 2nd Congressional district so cngdem01 corresponds to Susan Adams for this precinct record. Some instances will be all zeros (eg cnggrn01) if there were no candidates for that party in that county/race. It is for this reason that it is not possible to have a single statewide codebook for the SOV files.
SOR or Statement of Registration data files contain precinct level registration data. The SOR derived data are processed into multiple file types by vote status (did the registered voter vote) and method (did the voter vote at the polling place or by mail ballot).
The same registration data variables are reported in each of the file types. Please see the SOR (statement of registration) codebook for a complete listing of the data variables in the SOR files. These SOR file types include:
*These files types are available for the 2012 Elections and later. Not all counties report their absentee and mail ballot votes separately so in some instances, a county will only have a absentee data file or only a mail ballot file while some counties will have both. Previous to 2012 these data were combined in the absentees file.
Each of the SOR files are available by rg, rr, and sr (formerly the ss precinct) precinct types.
Please note that the only precinct that is common to both the SOV and SOR data is the sr precinct. See the precinct type diagrams or page 10 of the technical documentation for an explanation of the precinct types and the precinct consolidation process.
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