In another exciting development for congressional transparency and openness, the Senate Rules Committee has decided to publish
Senate roll call votes in a public XML feed. This XML data from the Senate will allow the public, the press, and advocates to find and analyze roll call votes [http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/21985.html]. Public access to Senate voting records- in their complete form- is an important tool to help citizens track their representation in Washington, D.C.
Making votes available to the public through XML feeds may not sound very exciting. After all, the Senate already releases voting information, but not in a format that allows users to search
for their lawmaker or filter votes by member. Voting data is also available from third parties compiling the data, but often have incomplete or inaccurate information.
is a structured data format, allowing the data to be used in many ways. Indeed, the release of government information should always be in a standard format that is easily accessible and re-usable by the public; well structured XML certainly qualifies.
Yes, this information currently exists on third-party websites, but that data was scraped from Senate websites and isn't always be accurate or up to date. Getting public feeds of voting records in XML from the Senate has been one of the goals
of the Open House Project since 2007.
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