The big 2020 election in the USA is ending today! And even though not all of us are in the U.S., there’s a lot of interest all round the world.
When the results start coming in, people are going to want accurate information fast. News providers like television channels and websites will be publishing the information about the winners and losers and the latest tallies of votes. But where do the news providers get their information from?
Of course, in 2020, the most reliable way of getting information is programmatically via a REST API. So if you are a website, you can automatically update your tables by pulling in the data from a trusted source of information.
Ideally, this would be the government body that oversees the election. In a country with a highly devolved government like the US that isn’t necessarily easy. There are lots of overlapping jurisdictions, which can make things complicated. Major news organizations like the Associated Press have decades of experience in correlating together poll data and providing accurate and timely consolidated data.
2020 Election APIs
MuleSoft recently published a list of 2020 election-related APIs. But many of these sites are pay-to-play or offer specialized data or services. You probably want to know who’s up in Florida or Pennsylvania, not how to run an election for your running club via API.
The AP Elections API does indeed provide an API for obtaining 2020 election race information about each candidate and their voting tallies and race calls where a winner has been declared. These are regularly updated as new information becomes available. Interestingly, they still provide the same data via FTP! Which is a slightly 1992 way of doing things!
But they also offer 2020 Election Race Calls on the Blockchain with smart contracts on either Ethereum or EOS.io, which is pretty 2020! AP is pay to play, which isn’t surprising. It’s been their business model for decades and getting, processing, and presenting the information requires a lot of effort, which is expensive.
Television channels and news sites pay AP, so you can get the information for free (or, strictly, “free”).
Dow Jones also provides a 2020 Presidential Election API, but it’s not clear exactly where they source their information from, and don’t expect it to be cheap (the truth rarely is).
APImetrics will be keeping an eye on interesting election-related APIs over the next couple of days as things heat up, so keep an eye on our blog and Twitter feed for anything excited we do come across.
We aren’t in the Wild West days of the early 2010s with APIs and a lot of APIs that were out there then are firmly behind closed doors and paywalls a decade on, but there is sure to be good sites around in this API 2020 election!