Webinar Wrap-Up: Three Steps to a Successful Election in 2015

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It’s a new year and that means your organization gets to start fresh with new elections.14SBS016_ThreeSteps_WebinarGraphic_F
We recently presented a webinar to share the election trends we saw in 2014 and three steps for organizations to achieve a successful voting event in 2015.

Election Trends

Hybrid elections
In 2014, we saw paper-only elections and web-only each at 19 percent of the election projects we run. At 21 percent, hybrid elections are still in the lead. From 2011 through 2013, we saw paper elections steadily declining with web elections steadily growing.

“Hybrid options continue to be a strong option for most organizations because of convenience,” said Paul Bordson-Nolle, account manager at Survey & Ballot Systems. “Every organization must put in place the methods that are going to best serve their members. That means not disenfranchising members for the mission of moving everything online.”

If an organization currently uses paper ballots and has a good voting percentage, they run the risk of losing those voters by removing the option of paper ballots.

“Electronic voting is convenient and typically less expensive,” Paul said, “it is not always the best way to increase response rates.”

Mobile voting
In 2014, at least 15 percent of members voting in online election projects we run wanted to participate in the election using a mobile device. That’s up 5 percent over the previous year and is expected to steadily rise in 2015 and beyond.

In other words, more and more of your voters are expecting to be able to vote using their mobile device.

New Technology

Technology designed to make it easier and more convenient for your members to vote is more than just a popular trend, it’s become an expectation.

Single Sign-On for Online Elections
Single sign-on allows members to securely log in right from an organization’s current website – no separate sites, no new log in and password information necessary.

Quick Response (QR) Codes
A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that, when scanned with a mobile device, takes members directly to the voting website on the spot. We’ve even developed a custom QR code to allow voters to securely access their ballots right from their mobile devices.

Optimized Mobile Web Voting
With the steady increase in people using their mobile devices to vote, we’ve developed technology to ensure they have the optimal voting experience based on the mobile device they’re using.

Geo-Spatial Mapping
A picture is worth a thousand words and now we can prove it by mapping members by location, voting and communications activity. Elections managers and leaders of your organization get rapid visual insight into what’s going on with members. Geo-spatial mapping is so much easier to view and understand than a traditional spreadsheets and tables.

Successful Elections in 2015

So, how can your organization use trends and technology to have a successful election event in 2015?

ASSESS your current election by looking at:

  • Election method (paper, hybrid, web, etc.)
  • Demographics of your members
  • What works about your election and the challenges your organization faces
  • Your organization’s efforts to get out the vote
  • Your member response rates

BUILD AWARENESS of your election by:

  • Scheduling email invitations and reminders
  • Website promotion and advertising
  • Newsletter announcements
  • Add election information to all staff email signatures
  • Consider new technologies like an embedded log in link, single sign-on, social media sharing, reminder emails and voter incentives to increase voter response

PLAN for the future:

  • Put in place a plan for reducing costs
  • Put in place a plan to transition to the voting methods that work best for your members

By understanding the trends, embracing technology and having clear goals and a plan, your organization’s elections in 2015 can be your best yet.

At SBS, our mission is to improve elections. Participants in this webinar received a free copy of our e-book, “10 Expert Tactics to Increase Election Participation.” You can download your free copy now by clicking here. And contact us any time for more information on how to improve your elections in 2015.