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Acquiring and Collating Polling Place Data for Northwest Germany, 1893-1933

Where I began - Diederich Hahn and Hannover 19. Decided to expand to entirety of Provinz Hannover. After 2002 added Großherzogtum/Freistaat Oldenburg.

WHERE DID I ACQUIRE THE DATA?

From what sources did I acquire the data? Where I collected the data. Multiple returns to sources in Germany to run down missing places.

 

PROCESSING THE DATA

Processing the data. Collating published results into my polling places.

Numerous Gemeindelexikon and published censes to ascertain towns and villages. Some census places were combined into a single place.

I assigned each place a six digit ID number, the first three digits correspond to the Imperial German constituency number assigned by Gerhard A. Ritter in Wahlgeschichtliches Arbeitsbuch, the last three digits the reflect the alphabetic ranking of the place within each constituency (i.e. in constituency Emden-Leer, Arle 151001, Wymeer 151132).

  • I have a separate data file of all census places and former Ortschaften and Bauerschaften. This file contains parish names, place names in Plattdeutsch, population and confessional data, web links, etc.

  • These places can be identified and data displayed by roll-over in my GIS.

 

NUMBER OF POLLING PLACE RESULTS RECORDED

N=583 places

Election   #            %

1893        563     96.4%

1898        579     99.1%

1903        573     98.1%

1907        576     98.6%

1912         556     95.2%

1919        564     96.6%

1920        574     98.3%

1924_1    578     99.0%

1924_2    527     90.2%

1928        578     99.0%

1930        579     99.1%

1932_1    575     98.5%

1932_2    565     96.7%

1933        581      99.5%

TOTAL

RESULTS  15,935   98%

PROCESSING CONVENTIONS

  • Used spelling of places as they existed in time period. Frequently this involves use of initial „C“ or „K“ but also changes in names (Ost Sander/Ostsander).

  • Cities and larger towns had multiple polling stations.  As these varied by election, I aggregated them into one polling place. 

  • Listed all parties even if they were not present in the constituency.

  • Added zeros to places where parties received no votes even if they were not on ballot or running candidate in polling place.

  • When polling places are coupled or consolidated, I listed votes only in main place so as to achieve accurate vote totals. In these instances, I displayed percentage of votes partied received in each combined place. (I.e., when Fähr was subsumed into Aumund, I did not list votes for Fähr but displayed the vote percentages in each polling place line.)

  •  A further problem was how to designate Conservative parties in the Imperial era (i.e. DKP/BdL/AS). In Oldenburg, National Liberals usually had support of the Bund der Landwirte against Radicals and Progressives. I kept these votes in NLP column but created separate "Agrarian" column where NL votes in Oldenburg were counted for BdL.

JURISTICTIONAL CHANGES

  • In 1924, Geestemünde, Lehe and Wulsdorf were consolidated into the new city of Wesermünde. From that point, I have placed Wesermünde votes on Geestemünde's row and places same percentage result in the rows of the three places.

  • In 1924, the polling places in Landkreis Oldenburg were consolidated into an Amt Oldenburg. In some cases, results for the old polling places were still listed, but infrequently. As I did above the Wesermünde, I chose to list the Amt votes in the row for a single polling place (Hatten), and assigned the percentage results in each place's row. Working this through has been incredibly confusing.

  • In 1932, six eastern towns in Landkreis Jork (Hasselwerder, Hove, Ladecop, Moorende, Nincop, Rubke) were incorporated into Harburg. I do not presently have the polling place results from these places but will enter them once they are found.

  • In 1932, the four southern polling places along the Ems of Landkreis Emden (Oldersum, Petkum, Rorichum and Tergast) were transferred to Landkreis Leer. 

  • The city of Papenburg in Kreis Aschendorf was counted as the southernmost place in the Imperial constituency of Aurich-Wittmund. When the old districts were done away with under the Weimar constitution, the newspapers in Aurich-Wittmund no longer carried Kreis Aschendorf results. I have not yet been able to access newspapers which might carry election results.

ANOMOLIES

  • Two polling places have caused me considerable frustration: Ostsander and Markardsmoor. Ostsander (coupled with the other census place of Westersander) first reported results in 1907, failed to do so in 1912, and did so in only half of the Weimar era elections. My sources do not indicate where it‘s votes were cast when it was not listed independently. Markardsmoor is one of numerous Fehnkolonien  along the Jade-Ems canal between Aurich and Wilhelmshaven.

  • In 1912, the authorities in Kreis Blumenthal began a consolidation of polling places, most of which returned sizable Social Democratic pluralities. In the cases of the consolidated places, I entered the votes for the recorded entity (entering zeros on the rows of the disappeared places) and assigned each place the same percentage results. In the Weimar period, a small number of polling places in Regierungsbezirk Stade were  consolidated and I follow the same procedure with them. On my spreadsheet "Results 1" these are indicated by "C".

  • The pages of Osterholz-Schwarmbecker Zeitung that would record the results from the December 1924 are  missing from the available newspaper microfilm. As a result, I have assigned the Kreis results to each polling place. Not an ideal solution.

  • Similarly, the various newspapers do not carry the September 1930 polling place results for villages in Landkreis Emden. A search through the holdings of the Stadtarchiv Emden uncovered only the combined Landkreis results. I have inserted the percentage results of the vote in each polling place row.

  • The Anzeiger für Harlingerland always carried polling place results for Aurich-Wittmund and the same places during the Weimar era. One scholar used and published these figures in his work on the rise of the Nazis in the Harlingerland. Unfortunately, he listed the vote for minor partied under „Other“. I have added a column for such in my dataset but those are the only places where „Other“ votes are entered. Since that work, copies of the newspaper held by the Verlag are no longer available.

  • In 1919, neither the Nordhannoversche Landeszeitung nor the Neuhaus-Ostener Zeitung recorded results for the votes for the National Assembly. I substituted the votes for the Prussian House of Deputies election in Hadeln, but could find only fragmentary results for the counties of Neuhaus and Osten.

LINKED WEB PAGES

polling place results

Table showing the places that I do and do not have results for by election.

  • this is important for tracking places that need more research. 

List of polling places with other census places and changed locales.

  • this is important so that I can combine available census with appropriate polling place.

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