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Grants:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia Espana/2019/Ballot papers campaigns and tools

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Ballot papers campaigns and tools
(Program story)


2019 Spanish general election Ballot

For several years now, Wikimedia Spain members have been encouraging each other to collect the ballot papers of all elections held in Spain, scan them and upload the images to the Wikimedia Commons project. This is possible thanks to the fact that Spanish law excludes from intellectual property all legal texts generated by public bodies, and that the ballot papers include only names, without photographs, with a small party logo that is acceptable in Commons under the "De minimis" principle. In this way, important documentary work is being carried out in the field of the country's political history.


To facilitate and coordinate the task, we have developed a web tool which includes the following possibilities: assignment of users and states to each zone (electoral district); automatic colouring on a map according to the assigned state; previous dumping of the names of all the candidates/ballot papers published in the official bulletins; presentation of links to the Upload Campaign in Commons with automatic assignment of the categories according to the electoral process, zone and name of the candidacy; suggestion of a standardized name for the upload of each ballot; association of each ballot with its file in Commons (whether or not the standardized name has been used); and diverse statistics. Recently, for local elections and due to the high number of possible ballot papers to be collected, the previous dumping has been replaced by the possibility for the user to add by himself the obtained ballot papers. In addition, the tool is designed in such a way that it can be easily adapted to other campaigns or tasks to be distributed by zones or, in general, to any case in which it would be useful to generate and easily change a map with zones of different colours that provide some information, which could later also be uploaded to Commons.


The initiative of the members, combined with the possibilities of the tool, has managed, in an original way, to encourage and involve members from very different parts of the Spanish territory to collaborate in the collection of ballot papers that are only available in their respective areas. In this way, people who in some cases do not have options or time to contribute in other ways to free knowledge, can do so and feel involved with that movement, and at the same time, the personal relationships and collaborative work that the association carries out to achieve its goals are encouraged. In addition, thanks to this "excuse", we have also reached people who are not associated but share our principles, who through this collaboration have known us better and in the future could participate in other activities and even associate.