The Statewide Database – Berkeley Law’s Best-Kept Secret!

The Statewide Database moved to Berkeley Law in 2009 from the Institute of Governmental Studies.  For most of the past 9 years, we’ve been Berkeley Law’s best-kept secret! We were located at 2850 Telegraph until mid-2017 when we were repatriated to central campus and we are now occupying 3 offices in Barrows Hall.

The SWDB is the redistricting database for the State of California, which means that we build datasets that merge voter registration and election data to census data. Our datasets go back to 1994 and include all of California’s Statewide elections.  Our data are used to draw electoral lines on all levels, to assess jurisdictions for compliance with the Federal and State Voting Rights Acts, and for research in many different areas, ranging from access to healthy food to gun ownership.  All of our data are free and we provide assistance with using them.  We work with agencies and department on the State and Federal levels, ranging from the California Secretary of State to the Department of Justice and the Census Bureau. We also frequently collaborate with good government, voting rights and advocacy groups including the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Asian Americans Advancing Justice and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

We currently have 12 team members at UCB and were unfortunately only able to corral a few of us into a photo on short notice.  Our P.I and biggest cheerleader is Professor Chris Edley! Our GIS team consists of longtime staff member Nicole Boyle, Anushka Thakkar (Grad student in Public Health), and Anne Price (Undergrad, English).

Our IT and Application Programming team is led by Seth Neill in collaboration with Linus Kipkoech.  Mahmoud Hamsho (Graduate student, Information Science and Management) is working on our data management applications and Tyler Jacobson (Undergrad, Math and English) assists with data collection from the counties.  Data access and outreach is in the capable hands of Jaime Clark with assistance from Nicholette Tolmie (Undergrad, Urban Studies).  Karin Mac Donald is the Director of the SWDB and would be lost if not for the admin and research assistance of Melodie Deisher (Undergrad, English).

Please visit us in Barrows Hall to learn more about the Statewide Database!