Many of us in Nepal, mostly urbanites, don't know our constituency. It's a pity, but understandable. There's no easily available data. Election Commission of Nepal doesn't seem to have easy to find information. Even if you managed to find those information, those will be in some pdf. Citizen Election Portal aims to bridge that gap, it attempts to provide the basic information to the voters - what is your constituency provided you know your vdc/municipality and ward, who are the candidates in your constituency, where different polling stations are in your area. The journey to the current basic information portal was not easy.
As you may have correctly guessed in this open data portal blog, this has to do with unavailability of data, let alone open data. As mentioned earlier, it's no easy task to browse through the EC website to find the information you are looking for. And if you are lucky, you will find that in pdf. Fortunately the past election results are available in XML. Most of the data belonging to current election are in pdf, though this time EC has done commendable job to provide the list of candidates in some form of interactive application. However we managed to get a person send excel file for FPTP candidates list and constituencies after rounds of meeting. You may now find those information in open csv format in Open Data Nepal portal.
Polling stations are still not made available - so we scraped the pdfs of all the polling stations from the previous election data. There were 240 pdf files, which need to be scraped and converted to unicode. The data in the pdfs were in Nepali pretty font. We used https://github.com/foss-np/2utf8 to convert the scraped data to unicode. There were indeed lots of issues in conversion. Few community members mentioned about the improper rendering of unicodes. There's nothing we can do now, except for the manual corrections or make the 2utf8 better. Something is better than nothing. We are yet to receive the latest polling stations from EC.
Once you open the portal at election.opennepal.net and click on any district in the map, you will see the number of constituencies in your district. Clicking on the constituency will take you to the page where you will be able to see all the details on that constituency. Don't know your constituency, then select district, vdc/municipality and your ward, "Find your Constituency" will take you to the appropriate constituency page. Here' s mine.
This is not the end. We are planning to add more features to the portal. Currently you can see the names of the candidates only, we will soon add party symbols in the image of candidates. However our task is to find the photos of candidates and put them in the portal. There will be a separate page for candidates where people will be able to post comments and start discussion. We will also update the portal with the election results, as soon as the results are available. I am sure you have more ideas on how we could make this even better or what sort of information to add, please join the ongoing discussion on this portal at opendatanepal googlegroups.
The system is developed in python based flask and angularjs. We will soon have the source in github as well. Stay tuned.