The Associated Press is making some of its U.S. elections data available for free to more than 400 nonprofit news organizations in a program funded by the Google News Initiative.

The small, primarily digital newsrooms are members of the Institute for Nonprofit News. While that 15-year-old group includes some national outlets like ProPublica, most of its members are smaller organizations that cover local news, most with only a handful of employees and many that operate in areas left otherwise bereft of coverage.

On primary nights and the general election, AP will give these outlets ready-to-publish graphics with national and local results, along with information gleaned from talking to voters from AP’s VoteCast survey.

AP plays a central role tabulating results across the country on election nights, using them to declare winners of contested races, along with seeking an in-depth view of what is on voters’ minds.

Making the information available to organizations that generally have not had it in the past is part of AP’s effort to combat election misinformation, said David Scott, AP’s vice president and head of news strategy and operations.

AP would not say how much Google is paying to disseminate the information. The news organization sells more complete data and survey results, along with its journalists’ political coverage, to larger organizations all over the world.

The initiative will allow INN members to deploy its journalists for news coverage on election nights, instead of the laborious work of counting and tabulating votes in local races, said Jonathan Kealing, INN’s chief network officer.

Some larger and national organizations offer consumers detailed election information, but usually do not have the capacity to cover local races of interest to readers of INN publications, he said.

“This makes it easier for these individuals to find news in the place where they look to get it first,” Kealing said.

The organization’s members have a median of four staffers and $271,000 in revenue, he said. Newsrooms at the Mississippi Free Press, San Antonio Report in Texas, Charlottesville Tomorrow in Virginia and Fresnoland in California have expressed particular interest in this information, he said.

The free benefit is limited to the 90% of INN members with annual revenue of $5 million or less. Members are vetted for a commitment to editorial independence and nonpartisanship.

Throughout 2024, AP’s democracy efforts include explaining to readers how its election tabulation and analysis works.

For example, the service wrote stories as part of the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary coverage that explained what went into AP declaring a winner before all of the votes are tabulated.

“We think there’s no better way to fight misinformation than to be fully transparent about how we go about collecting the vote,” Scott said.

David Bauder

Associated Press

NEW YORK, New York

Andrew Harnik (AP) and Alex Brandon (AP)