Forsyth County

Board of Election Electronic Election Returns Service

Documentation Update date: 05/22/1998

Prepared by Herman Schmid, FC MIS Department

 

READ ME FIRST notes (06/02/98):

Much of this information is relevant only for the 1998 Primary Election 06/02/1998. Differing file sets and procedures are used in each primary and election so please refer to the appropriate documentation on the related world wide web page or ftp directory.

 

Changes in the documentation relevant to this release will have "(06/02/98)" beside the remark. Significant changes have been made in the ftp site directory structure (see below) and the layout of the "sum.asc" file has changed (see below).

 

Final program/report updates will be posted on the web by 5:00pm, Wednesday, 04/29/1998. Copies before that time are under-development and are NOT reflective of the actual code and reports to be used for the election. The directory name for the ftp site is "980602".

 

YEAR 2000 notes: This product has not been tested for year 2000 compliance on a PC dated in the year 2000. Nevertheless, the Access versions for Office 95 and Office 97 are compliant according to Microsoft. In addition, no processing in this system uses dates in a critical manner. Further, to this programmer's best knowledge, no dates are used or processed in an incorrect manner that would inhibit correct processing in the year 2000. Herman Schmid

 

Documentation:

The Forsyth County MIS department works closely with the Forsyth County Board of Elections to provide LIVE election results (updated about every 15 minutes) during the election and a permanent archive of the official results when they become available after the election. The information is freely and publicly available in two ways:

 

1) via a World Wide Web page accessed through the Forsyth County Home Page at

http://www.co.forsyth.nc.us/

or directly at

http://www.co.forsyth.nc.us/boe/boe.htm

The WWW page presentation has been constructed to allow convenient access for anyone with a suitable www browser that supports HTML v2.0 or higher.

 

2) via the Forsyth County ftp server.

Connections to the server are provided via the WWW pages listed above or directly at ftp://ftp.co.forsyth.nc.us in the appropriate /pub/Election directory. Note that starting with the 05/05/1998 Primary election, a subdirectory called "io" with contain the input and output files. (06/02/98)

 

The ftp server provides all the files and programs used in the creation of the election return web pages. The files and program elements can be useful to anyone who might wish to process election data for their own purposes. There are three file elements:

    1. The raw data files. The raw ascii data files are produced from a data export module of the larger software system used to tabulate election results. This larger system was created by the Business Records Corporation (BRC).
    2. Using the raw data files, the FC MIS department uses Microsoft Access to process the data and create the web pages. The reports, queries and procedures used in the provided MS Access database are not represented to be a finished product whatsoever, but are simply a set of tools our staff changes and uses as appropriate to produce the required end result - web pages. Even the web pages generated by the system sometimes must be manually changed to fit the presentation needs. Therefore all files are provided on an "as is" basis and no completeness or service levels are implied or guaranteed. The database can be useful to 1) allow you to import the summary and precinct detail raw data into MS Access data tables and 2) serve as an example on creating html code from MS Access.

These files listed below contain either documentation, raw data, html output or the MS Access database used to process the raw data into output data.

 

documentation.* (Documentation file)

This file. Provided in MS Word and html formats.

 

Raw data files (ascii data, fixed column format):

sum.asc Election results summary records

det.asc Detailed precinct results records

See the MS Access table layouts below for field information.

Import drive and path specifications must be corrected in certain macros "Transfer Text" action.

 

MS Access v7.0 database files:

results.mdb

The database contains Macros and file import specifications to import the raw data files.

The precinct table in the database is used in the current processing.

 

BOE VOTE COUNT Table - Summary results table

NOTE: For the 06/02/98 Primary, upgrades in BRC SW caused a change in the sum.asc file layout. Six zeros were added to positions 23-29. I do not know what they mean. I added them to the import specification and suppressed them from importing. Therefore, the Access table below does NOT reflect these new characters. (06/02/98)

Name

Type

Size

Race Nbr

Text

4

Candidate Nbr

Text

3

Eligible Precs

Text

4

Votes

Text

5

Counted Prec

Text

4

Party

Text

3

District Type

Text

3

District Code

Text

4

Race

Text

56

Candidate

Text

38

Race Type

Text

25

 

BOE VOTE COUNT DETAIL Table - Precinct detail results table

 

 

 

Name

Type

Size

Race Nbr

Text

4

Candidate Nbr

Text

3

Precinct nbr

Text

4

Votes

Number (Long)

4

Party

Text

10

Race

Text

56

Candidate

Text

38

Precinct name

Text

25

Precincts file: The precinct file should be manually synchronized with any new precinct numbers and names for each election. Numbers must match those in detail file for each election or detail processing will not work!! Precinct names used in presentation are taken from the Precinct file! The Participating Field must be updated each election!

Name

Type

Size

ID

Number (Long)

4

Precinct nbr

Text

50

Precinct name

Text

50

Precinct address

Text

50

Participating?

Yes/No

1

   

 

Output

MS Access database asks for the output file names. (Note that the MS Access creation of these files depends on using a printer defined as Generic Text and routed to a file. ) The names used below have been chosen to mesh with FCís Board of Elections www page references and links to each other. Browsers used must support TABLE views (html v2.0).

 

sum.htm HTML formatted results summary report

detail.htm HTML formatted results precinct detail report (large file).

999.htm When Official results are put out, some days AFTER the election, individual files are created for each precinct as a replacement for the large detail.htm above to facilitate web access. The 999 is where the number of each precinct is used for the filesí names. Two different, yet almost identical, reports are used- one for the combined detail, the other for individual precinct detail. This must be coordinated carefully with the correct Reporting Precincts report.

 

precinct.htm HTML formatted reporting precincts report. This file is replaced when the Office results are put out with one that individually accesses each detail precinct file. (note two different reports in Access).

 

 

Special notes:

An acronym is need for this system. Donít bother submitting the obviously discarded candidate from the name at document top. ;-)

email comments to:

 

Kathie Cooper, Director of Elections, Forsyth County

k_cooper@co.forsyth.nc.us

 

Herman Schmid, MIS department, Forsyth County

schmid@co.forsyth.nc.us