A vote is one voter’s vote in a vote event.

1. Use cases & requirements

The Vote class should have properties for:

  1. vote event

    Vote No. 42

  2. voter

    In the House of Representatives of New Zealand, the parties regularly cast the votes, not the members.

    Alice uses voting records to identify voting blocs.

    Bob subscribes to receive an email alert when John Q. Public votes.

  3. the option chosen by the voter

    e.g. yes, no, or abstain.

  4. the voter’s primary political group

    Carol tracks which members of the government vote with the opposition.

    Dave checks how political parties voted on an important bill.

  5. the voter’s role in the event

    In the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, the tellers are the members who count the votes.

    Majority MPs may volunteer as “no” tellers in order to record the minority MPs in opposition to a motion.

    Eve analyzes the chair’s behavior on tie votes.

  6. the weight of the voter’s vote

    In the House of Representatives of New Zealand, the weight of a party’s vote is equal to the number of members of the party.

  7. the person with whom the voter is paired

    In some legislatures, two members from opposing parties may agree to abstain when one member is unable to vote.

2. Standard reuse

Few specifications exist for individual votes, and few legislatures publish vote data in a machine-readable format. Schema.org and Parliamentary Metadata Language terms are retained from the inventory of terms.

3. Classes and properties

Term Mapping Definition
Vote opengov:Vote A voter's vote in a vote event
vote event opengov:voteEvent A vote event
voter schema:agent The person or organization that is voting
option schema:option The option chosen by the voter, whether actively or passively1
political group opengov:politicalGroup The voter's primary political group2
role opengov:role The voter's role in the event
weight opengov:weight The weight of the voter's vote3
pair opengov:pair The person with whom the voter is paired

“Pairing” generally refers to a reciprocal agreement between two voters by which a voter abstains if the other is unable to vote. The pairing agreement is not always in force and respected; for example, if both voters are voting or if a voter breaks the agreement. The pair property must not be used unless a pairing agreement is, in fact, respected.

1. For example, "absent" and "not voting" are valid values of the option property.

2. Countries have various names for these groups, including "caucus" (Australia, Canada, Nepal, New Zealand, Slovakia, South Africa, United States), "fraction" (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland), "club" (Austria, Czech Republic), or "group" (Finland, Italy, Romania, European Union).

3. The default value for a vote's weight is 1.

4. Serialization

A vote cannot exist outside a vote event. All votes must assign a value to either vote_event_id or vote_event.

JSON differences from other RDF serializations:

  • The term voter is used instead of agent, for clarity.
  • The value of the role property is a string, instead of an org:Role.
  • The term group is used instead of politicalGroup, to be consistent with the Count class.

5. Code lists


Implementations may use values from outside this list.

  • yes
  • no
  • abstain
  • absent
  • not voting
  • paired