votes in VT that are ascribed to ambiguous surnames


There are a large number of votes that are attributed (in the JSON file for VT ) to "names" that are, even in the context of a specific state-chamber-session, ambiguous.

For example, in VT-House-2009-2010, many votes are ascribed simply to "French" (**), and for this session, there are two individuals with the surname French:

Eldred French (elected in 2008 to HD Rutland-3) [leg_id = VTL000072]
Patsy French (elected in 2008 to HD Orange-Addison-1) [leg_id=VTL000073]

If votes had been ascribed to either of these two leg_ids, it might have been possible to infer the identify of the individual identified as "French", but that is not the case.

Unfortunately, this kind of error has a "double whammy" effect since we lose the ability to track the voting histories of BOTH individuals named French.

Further, the same problem applies to the surnames "Johnson", "Martin", "Smith", and "Stevens" in this 2009-10 term. Thus, in effect, we lose the voting records for 10 individuals for this term.

For VT-House-2013, the same "ambiguous surname" problem applies to two names: Shaw and Townsend.

(There may also be instances in other terms.)



(**) That is, there are votes recorded like so:

{"leg_id": null, "name": "French"}


Andy Lo


Peter Koppstein