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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Measuring Legislative Behavior: An Exploration of


The Digital Democracy platform developed at California Polytechnic State University,, is an open government platform that features a searchable database of California state legislative committee hearings and floor sessions, allowing the user to search content by keyword, topic, speaker or date.  In this research note, we introduce the platform, summarize several measures of behavioral data, and encourage public feedback on what types of interactive features might be built into the platform in the near future.  Using the 2015-2016 legislative session as our sample (the first complete legislative session for which data was collected), we review basic features of the platform before exploring the participation of parties, party members and citizens.  We conclude with a reflection on the potential for this technology to enhance citizen oversight and accountability in the legislative process.

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